President Abdel Fattah Al -Sisi has placed special focus during his visit to China to talk about infrastructure projects, according to Egyptian-Chinese Business Council (ECBC) member Sherif Al-Gably.
Al-Gably added that particular emphasis was placed on the pursuit of Egypt for investments in infrastructure, energy, railways and ports development. He added that a range of Chinese and Egyptian companies participated in a meeting on Tuesday.
“Al-Sisi put the most important Egyptian conditions and criteria in the projects to be implemented by China in Egypt, which is represented in three conditions: implantation at a reasonable cost, the least possible time and the best quality,” added Al-Gably.
Al-Gably declared that the number of agreements will be decided on Wednesday, but could be over 20 investment agreement to serve development projects in Egypt.
“President Al-Sisi did not mention obstacles or hindrances on Egyptian exports to the Chinese market, because Egyptian exports to China are very small, but the focus is on how to take advantage of the tremendous technological power of China,” revealed Al-Gably.
Economic expert and director of the Center for Economic Studies Salah Goda said Egypt is heading for China because of global trends leaning towards Chinese influence. He expects that at the beginning of 2025, China will be the foremost country in the world economically, followed by India, rather than the US.
Goda said Egypt has not taken advantage of its relationship with the US since the 1970s. He added that economic cooperation with the US has yet to produce great economic development.
He revealed that Chinese imports to Egypt are not less than $22bn, due to contraband passing through customs ports.
“China can help Egypt in several areas, especially in textile industry, where China has a comparative advantage in this area,” said Goda.
The trade exchange between Egypt and China during the period between January and September 2014 reached approximately $8.5bn, an increase of 16% compared to 2013.
Chinese investments in Egypt this year amounted to approximately $468.5m, with the number of Chinese companies operating in Egypt listed at around 1,198.
These companies are concentrated mostly in the industrial sector and financing services, according to the General Authority for Investment and Free Zones (GAFI).
Egyptian exports to China amounted to $922m and Chinese exports to Egypt amounted to $7.6bn, bringing the balance of trade deficit between the two countries to $6.7bn.
Egyptian exports witnessed a marked decline during the first nine months of 2014 due to the decrease in petroleum exports prices by 46%. This was in addition to the decline in non-oil exports by 22%. Egyptian imports from China have achieved a significant increase during this period, having recorded about $7.6bn, an increase of 31% compared to the same period last year.
The main Egyptian exports to China are petroleum products, marble, granite, iron ore and citrus, while the main Chinese exports to Egypt include garments, mobile phones and other products.