Egypt, China seek further cooperation via "Belt and Road" investment, trade expo

Visitors are seen during the Egypt-China Investment and Trade Expo in Cairo, Egypt, on Nov. 15, 2018. (Xinhua/Wu Huiwo)

The second Egypt-China Investment and Trade Expo and the "Belt and Road" China-Egypt Cooperation Forum, kicked off on Thursday in Cairo.

More than 300 large and medium-sized Chinese enterprises and organizations participate in the exhibition, bringing advanced technologies and high-quality equipment products in the fields of transport, infrastructure, communications, and mechanical and health care.

The three-day fair, hosted by the Egyptian Chamber of Commerce in China and the Egyptian-Chinese Friendship Association, was held at Cairo International Convention Center.

The main purpose of the expo is to build a better future for Egypt, strengthen the construction of the "Belt and Road," promote the development of China-Egypt capacity cooperation and economic and trade relations, and attract more Chinese investment.

"The expo is a true chance to strengthen mutual cooperation between Egypt and China in the commercial and investment fields," Egyptian Minister of Trade and Industry Amr Nassar said at the opening ceremony.

China is Egypt's top trading partner, while Egypt is China's fourth largest trading partner in Africa, he noted.

A large number of major Chinese companies operating in the Egyptian market participate in the event, which stands as a platform for them to identify the advantages offered by the Egyptian market in many areas, Nassar added.

The trade between China and Egypt hit 11 billion U.S. dollars in 2017, with around 1,079 Chinese firms currently doing business in Egypt.

Meanwhile, former Egyptian Prime Minister Essam Sharaf praised the importance of the exhibition in promoting cooperation between Egypt and China, particularly in the fields of investment, development and trade.

In his speech at the inauguration ceremony, Sharaf, also chief of Sharaf Foundation for Sustainable Development and a committee member of the Silk Road NGO Cooperation Network, highlighted that Egypt's geographical location allows it to be a central hub for many Chinese investments.

In recent years, the Sino-Egyptian ties have been elevated to the level of comprehensive strategic partnership, thanks to the strong support from both leaderships, where China joins hands with the most populous Arab country in implementing mega projects.

Cooperation in ambulatory care is also expected to be strengthened through the expo.

Zhang Zhenzhong, president of the China Ambulatory Surgery Alliance, said ambulatory is a safe and reliable surgical procedure for patients scheduled to be hospitalized, operated, and discharged within 24 hours.

"Diseases including appendicitis, hernia and many others can now be treated with this procedure with high quality and efficiency as well as low cost," Zhang told Xinhua.

China's experience can be transplanted to Egypt and other African countries to help the treatment of their patients, he added.

Secretary-General of the Egyptian-Chinese Chamber of Commerce Diaa al-Fiqy said the exhibition serves as a bridge between Egyptian and Chinese businessmen as well as companies that aim to enhance the two countries' cooperation in economic fields.

Meanwhile, Salwa al-Hussain, a visitor to the exhibition, praised the pavilions of the participating companies, saying Chinese exhibitors offer very high technological potentials.

"It is an opportunity for many, even for ordinary citizens, to learn about China's great technological development in various fields," she told Xinhua.

Many of these companies are already operating in Egypt, and some are still looking for new investment opportunities and exploring the Egyptian market through Egyptian partners, she said.

Editor: 曹家宁