President Sisi arrives in Riyadh to attend first China-Arab Summit

Ahram Online , MENA , Thursday 8 Dec 2022

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi arrived in Saudi Arabia on Thursday to attend the first China-Arab Summit in Riyadh, Presidential Spokesperson Bassam Rady said.


El-Sisi’s participation in the China-Arab Summit comes within the framework of Egypt's keenness to strengthen and develop the distinguished historical relations between the Arab countries and China, as well as to contribute effectively to strengthen joint action mechanisms to achieve common interests, according to a separate statement by Rady.

The Riyadh Summit aims to build on the extended political dialogue between the two sides, as well as consultation and coordination on means to maximize prospects for mutual cooperation at the economic and development levels, as well as discussing efforts to maintain regional and international security and stability.  

On the sideline of the summit, the Egyptian president will hold a number of bilateral meetings with the leaders participating in the summit in order to discuss ways to strengthen bilateral relations, as well as discuss the latest developments on the regional and international areas.

The China-Arab summit

The China-Arab summit will be held with the participation of Chinese President Xi Jinping - currently visiting Saudi Arabia for the first time since 2016 - is a turning point on the track of partnership between China and Arab countries.

The summit will lay down the cornerstone of economic and commercial integration between Beijing and the Arab countries in light of regional and international developments that affected the global commercial movement and economic growth.

The strategic partnership provides an opportunity for both sides to benefit from the investment and trade potentials available as well as facing the impact of international changes on their economies, topped by the energy crisis, the repercussions of the Russian-Ukrainian crisis, decrease of the global economic growth rates and increasing calls for more protective measures in the field of trade in a number of west countries

Expectations from the China-Arab summit

The Asian country is also seeking to boost strategic partnership ties with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states which include Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman and Kuwait via continuing negotiations between both sides to establish a free trade zone to support development and joint trade interests of Arab countries

The Arab countries aim, via its partnership with China, at varying the markets of its exports and attracting more Asian investments, especially the Chinese, in addition to benefiting from the advanced Chinese technology in the field of industry.

Meanwhile, the Arab-Chinese cooperation achieved tangible accomplishments in several fields, including digital economy, networks of 5th generation communication, trade, energy and infrastructure.

Mutual Cooperation agreements

Both sides recently reached 277 cooperation agreements with a total of 24 billion dollars in the fields of information technology, clean energy, foods and tourism.

China is the second major commercial partner to the Arab countries after the European union as the volume of trade between both sides increased by 37% to reach 330 billion dollars in 2021.

Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Iraq come on top of the major trade partners of China in the Middle East.

The Chinese investments in the Arab countries noticeably increased from 2005 to 2020 to reach 196.9 billion dollars.

Egyptian-Chinese ties

Meanwhile, the Egyptian-Chinese ties witnessed noticeable growth in all different domains in the past years because of the keenness of the leaderships of both countries to boost strategic partnership and exchange official visits between them.

The rates of Chinese investments and projects in Egypt increased in light of "Belt and Road" Initiative to cover the domains of infrastructure, energy, trade and others.

El Sisi visited China seven times during 2014-2022 to promote comprehensive strategic partnership and Chinese investments in Egypt.

China lauded the economic and structural reforms in addition to the developmental accomplishments achieved in Egypt, including major national projects that contributed to increasing the rates of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and exports in addition to boosting the investment environment, shrinking unemployment rates, increasing credit classification and fostering trust of the international finance institution in the ability of the Egyptian economy to continue growth and face internal and external challenges.

China asserted its keenness to contribute to major national projects in Egypt and benefit from the unique geographic position of Egypt, especially the Suez Canal to push forward "Belt and Road" Initiative and boost trade between its countries.

The volume of trade between Egypt and China increased to 20 billion dollars in 2021 and the Chinese investments to Egypt doubled in January-September in 2021 to reach 223 million dollars.

China asserted keenness on boosting cooperation with Egypt as one of the most strategic partners in the Middle East and Africa.

The cooperation fields between Egypt and China include electricity, petroleum, natural gas, railways, highways, ports, mineral industries, construction materials, chemical industries, lighting equipment, textile and home appliances.

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