The Chinese-Africa Forum for cooperation in economic zones opened in Cairo on Tuesday, attended by representatives from China and six African countries on establishing economic zones, Ahram’s Arabic news website reported.
Organised by the Chinese embassy and the Suez Canal Economic Zone Authority, the forum aims at strengthening cooperation and sharing expertise.
President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi and his Chinese counterpart will inaugurate an investment conference in September this year in Egypt,
Suez Canal Zone Authority chairman Mohab Mamish announced.
China is one of the largest investors in the Suez Canal Economic Zone, with China's TEDA corporation, one of the largest industrial developers in the Suez Canal Zone, developing a 7.23 sq km industrial zone in Ain Sokhna.
Mamish has invited international investors and companies to invest in Egypt, especially in the zone.
He said Chinese companies will invest in the automotive and textile sectors in the zone, Mamish said.
Chinese ambassador Song Aigu said China will increase its investments in Egypt, adding that developments in the region will not change China’s interest in investing in Egypt.
The ambassador highlighted Egypt’s strategic location, which allows it to make “success stories” in the investment zones it aims to establish, especially the Suez Canal Zone.
Egypt's location makes it China’s gateway to Africa, which is strategic for the Belt and Road Initiative, the ambassador also said.
Egypt supports China’s Belt and Road initiative, which aims at developing trade and transport networks through land and sea routes to connect Asia with Africa and Europe.
President Abdel-Fattah El Sisi visited China in September 2017, where he participated in the BRICS Summit.
China’s foreign direct investments in Egypt grew by 75 percent in the first half of 2017, trade and economic attaché with the Chinese Embassy Han Peng said in December, with investments mainly in the TEDA industrial zone in Ain Sokhna.
In November, China’s COSCO Shipping signed a $30 million agreement with the Suez Canal Zone to build a 130,000-square-meter logistics park in the TEDA Industrial Zone.