The Afro-Asian Economic Council (AAEC) announced on Thursday the launch of a development project to link Egypt and other North African countries to China’s Belt and Road Initiative, potentially enhancing Egypt’s position as strategic navigational and land corridor in the world.
Head of the AAEC Tareq bin Eid Al Obeid said that the project aims at linking North African countries to Asia, pointing out that the role played by President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi to activate and complete development projects in Egypt was one of the most important reasons that prompted the council to accelerate the launch of this project.
During a press conference held on Thursday evening, Al Obeid said that the project will attract investments to Egypt and other North African countries ranging from $2tn to $4tn.
Al Obeid noted that the project will contribute to the development of many sectors in Egypt and North Africa and will play a role in stimulating and increasing international shipping traffic through the Suez Canal.
He pointed out that the project will provide huge employment opportunities for Egyptians in all sectors and will promote Asian countries’ trade with North African countries, which will deepen the trade and political relations and converge views, motivating the process of global peace and prosperity among the countries of the regions.
Al Obeid and a number of members of the council held a meeting with Egyptian Minister of Public Sector Affairs Khalid Badawy to discuss means and aspects of joint cooperation between the two sides.
During the meeting, the members of the delegation offered the investment opportunities available to the companies affiliated with the ministry to contribute to the project for reconstructing Madinat Al-Hareer (Silk City) in Kuwait and Kuwaiti islands, for which that country has allocated $450bn.
The delegation also presented to the minister the possibility of participating in the conference and the international economic exhibition on this project in March 2019, at which major Arab and international economic entities will be present.
Al Obeid said that the Egyptian companies have significant experience in development projects both inside Egypt and abroad, as well extensive experience with Arab and African countries, pointing out that the council requested that Egypt embrace the African side of the North Africa Belt and Road Initiative, which will enhance its position.
He noted that the AAEC also held a meeting with the minister of investment and international cooperation, Sahar Nasr, where the two sides discussed the importance of promoting Egyptian companies and the investment climate in Egypt and praised the new Investment Law and its executive regulations.
He stressed that the law encourages attracting more Arab, international, and African investments to Egypt, which will play an important role in achieving sustainable development.
For his part, Essam Abu Al Hassan, vice president of the Afro-Asian Economic Council, said that the North Africa-Asia linking project will make Egypt the most important sea and land corridor in the world due to the huge investment opportunities offered by it.
He pointed out that Egypt’s economic reforms made it a hub and a global gateway for investments. Egypt’s package of laws contributed to changing all the plans of the expansionist companies because of the great facilities provided by the new Investment Law, which also solved 90% of the problems faced by investors in Egypt.
For his part, Saleh bin Hamad Al Anzi, AAEC vice president for Asia, stressed on the importance of the role played by Silk City and the Kuwaiti islands in the development of the Arab economy, especially in light of the desire of the Egyptian and Kuwaiti leaders to turn Egypt and Kuwait into financial and trade centres.
According to Majed Al-Qasim, vice president of AAEC for international cooperation and chairperson of the organising committee of the international conference and exhibition to be held in Kuwait, said that the council aims to involve about 3,000 companies and international investment entities from all over the world to participate in the event.
He pointed out that the council chose the slogan World Visits Kuwait 2019, adding that Egypt could be the next destination for the council to establish such a conference under the slogan World Visits Egypt 2020.