Egypt’s Minister of International Cooperation, Rania Al-Mashat, and Chinese Ambassador to Cairo, Liao Liqiang, signed on Monday a new economic and technical cooperation agreement, within the framework of the strategic relations between both countries. Upon this agreement, Egypt will obtain development financing from China to implement its Vision 2030.
Following the signing ceremony, Al-Mashat held a meeting with the Chinese Ambassador, in which she emphasised the depth of the strategic relations with China as one of Egypt’s most prominent development partners; expressing Egypt’s endeavours to benefit from China’s development experience across various fields and attract more Chinese investments.
Minister Al-Mashat highlighted the fruitful cooperation between both sides to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, as Egypt provided 10 tonnes of medical equipment and supplies to China. In return, China provided Egypt with successive batches of the COVID-19 vaccines.
During the meeting, they reviewed the completed projects between Egypt and China. They include the Egyptian satellite project “Misr Sat II”, and the Satellite Assembly, Integration and Test Centre (AITC). This is in addition to the cooperation to establish a vocational training centre in the Suez Canal Economic Zone, as well as the ongoing projects to develop the transportation sector in Egypt.
The Egyptian Minister expressed her aspiration for expanding the scope of cooperation with China in light of Egypt’s Vision 2030 across various fields, including the localization of the railways industry, increasing local manufacturing, and climate financing. She added that the Ministry will coordinate with relevant stakeholders in Egypt to identify the priority projects to benefit from the joint agreement.
For his part, Ambassador Liqiang applauded the Egyptian-Chinese joint relations, as Egypt was the first Arab and African country to establish diplomatic relations with China; stressing China’s keenness to pass on its development experience across various sectors to Egypt being China’s key partner in the region. He added that China looks forward to Egypt’s participation in the Silk Road initiative to enhance bilateral cooperation within the framework of South-South cooperation.
Liqiang referred to the distinguished relations with Egypt in the health sector, as China has recently provided Egypt’s Ministry of Health with 2 million doses of Sinovac vaccine, to curb the spread of the COVID-19, within the framework of the cooperation between both countries; pointing out to the joint cooperation in vaccine manufacturing, as the vaccination doses provided amount to 3 million doses.
Furthermore, he touched upon the Global Development Initiative proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping, during his speech at the general debate of the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly, where he called for a greener and more balanced global development. The Chinese Ambassador pointed out the importance of benefiting from the initiative to achieve development for Egypt and China.
The ongoing portfolio of cooperation with China amounts to $1.8bn directed into several development projects across various sectors, such as health, agriculture, education, technical education, electricity, and many more. Over the span of four years, 1,110 training programmes were carried out in Egypt in cooperation with China, benefiting more than 4,000 governmental officials, in addition to 25 training programmes in high-priority fields, benefiting 300 governmental cadres in the fields of health, agriculture, population, and water resources.