Chinese President Xi Jinping's Egypt visit aims to strengthen strategic, economic ties

Zeinab El-Gundy , Tuesday 19 Jan 2016

The Chinese president will have a busy two days in Egypt

Sisi and Jinping
Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi (L) and China's President Xi Jinping listen to national anthems during a welcoming ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing (Photo: Reuters)

Chinese President Xi Jinping will start his two-day visit to Egypt on Wednesday, discussing bilateral ties and regional matters with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi.

His visit comes as part of a 10-day tour in the Middle East which includes stops in Saudi Arabia and Iran.

The two presidents will meet for talks on Wednesday. Also on Wednesday, Xi will address the newly elected Egyptian House of Representatives, according to the parliament's speaker, Ali Abdel-Aal.

Xi is the first foreign official to visit the House of Representatives.

He will also give a speech directed to the Arab world at the Arab League headquarters in Cairo, which will set out China's policy towards the Middle East, and its desire to support peace and development in the region.

Both presidents will attend the signing of a number of economic agreements, including one related to civil aviation, several electricity projects, and an agreement related to the construction of Egypt's new administrative capital.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Egyptian and Chinese commerce ministries organised in a meeting between Egyptian and Chinese businessmen to discuss investment cooperation.

A Chinese delegation made up of 20 representatives from 11 Chinese corporations workings in the fields of agriculture, textiles and light industry participated in the forum.

In statements to MENA, Egypt's ambassador to Beijing, Mady Amar, revealed that the two countries would put in place a five-year bilateral cooperation programme, based upon the strategic cooperation agreement signed by the two presidents during El-Sisi's visit to China in December 2014.

The Egyptian ambassador also revealed that China will lend the Central Bank of Egypt one billion dollars to support the foreign reserve. He also added that agreements for $700 million loans to the National Bank of Egypt and for another $100 million loans to Banque Misr to fund micro and medium-sized projects.

The Chinese president will also attend the launching of the second phase of the Egyptian-Chinese commercial and economic project in Ain Sokhna. The project will develop a six-square kilometre area to attract industrial investments amounting to around $30 billion.

The two presidents will hold a press conference on Thursday at Kasr Al-Kobba Palace in Cairo according to the Egyptian presidency.

Also on Thursday, in celebration of 60 years of diplomatic relations between Egypt and China, renowned artists and troupes from both countries will stage a grand scale performance at the ancient Luxor temple, which both presidents will attend.

This is the first visit by the Chinese president to the Middle East since 10 years ago. 

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