Chinese President Xi Jinping concluded a three-day visit to Egypt with a visit to Luxor’s touristic sites, and headed to Iran after giving a boost to Chinese-Egyptian and Arab relations.
Xi held discussions with President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi Thursday, in which he invited his Egyptian counterpart to participate in the G20 summit in Beijing in September.
During the meeting between the two presidents, Al-Sisi expressed his support to the Chinese president’s initiative to revive the Silk Road, referring to the benefits of increasing economic cooperation between Egypt, Arab, and African countries, and China.
Xi said China is keen on supporting development in Egypt. The meeting between the presidents was concluded by signing 21 memoranda of understanding (MoUs) and agreements between Egypt and China. It also saw the inauguration of the second phase of the Chinese Industrial Zone in the Suez Canal’s economic zone.
Xi also delivered a speech on Thursday at the Arab League headquarters in Cairo, in which he promoted the Chinese initiative for regional development, known as the Belt and Road Initiative. It calls for “exchanges between nations and civilisations for mutual understanding, rather than mutual resentment”.
“China is ready to work with Arab states to jointly build the Belt and Road and expand common ground in our respective effort to achieve national renewal,” Xi said.
The speech was hailed as “historic” by the Arab League’s deputy Secretary General Ahmed bin Helli, who called on Arabs to benefit from the Chinese president’s approach.
Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry also signed, with his Chinese counterpart Wang Li, an executive programme for a strategic partnership between both countries over the next five years.
The highlight of the economic and development agreements signed during the visit was a three-year MoU between the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology and the Chinese company Tus Holdings.
They cooperated in the provision of an advisory platform for the ministry that will facilitate the management and creation of technological zones in Egypt.
According to the MoU, Tus Holdings will present an offer to China and Egypt to design, build, and operate the technological zones in Egypt as part of the Belt and Road Initiative. The company seeks to become a short- and long-term advisor to the technological zones in Egypt, providing support to the Ministry of Communication in plans to implement two technological zones before the end of 2016.