Egypt and China: Partners on the long road
Updated: 2016-01-19 09:40
By Mahmoud Allam(chinadaily.com.cn)
President Xi's initiative to develop the Belt and Road Initiative coincided with Egypt's megaproject to double the throughput capacity of the Suez Canal, which was inaugurated in August 2015 "as a gift from Egypt to the world".
The expansion of the Suez Canal will have a positive effect on the traffic of the global trade and shipping industry, 30 percent of whose volume already flows through the canal. This megaproject, along with the development of the Special Economic Zone in the Suez Canal area, stand as a strategic connection for the Belt and Road Initiative that can consolidate the link between the East and the West and bring Asia, Africa, and Europe closer together and play as a hub for the Chinese investment in industries for these markets .
During the visit, several key agreements are expected to be signed between Chinese and Egyptian companies in important areas of infrastructure, such as energy, transport, and construction, among others. Many of these projects reflect the objective of the strategic partnership between China and Egypt in the sense that they will help enhancing the production capacity of the two countries by introducing joint production, transfer of technology, and implementing new systems of operation and management.
Another important dimension of the upcoming presidential visit will be the commencement of the year of China in Egypt and the year of Egypt in China to commemorate the 60th anniversary.
The first event of this year of celebrations is expected to be attended by the two leaders during the President Xi's visit and is due to be held in one of Egypt's glorious historical venues which signifies the value of the relations between the two nations. The activities that will be held in both countries throughout 2016 are planned to provide a deeper understanding between the two cultures and people and would help to set the path for enhancing the historical relation to new horizons.
As a former ambassador of Egypt to China, a keen observer and a scholar of Chinese studies who is already engaged in the preparation for this occasion, I can say that the Egyptians welcome the Chinese president with open arms and warm hearts and hope that the outcome of coming visit and the celebration of the 60th anniversary will create a great steps forward for a thousand year journey between our two nations.
About the author:
Mahmoud Allam is former ambassador of Egypt to China. He is also a keen observer and scholar of Chinese studies. Currently, he works as Ministerial advisor for Ministry of International Cooperation.