CAIRO, Nov. 8 (Xinhua) — The robust momentum of high-level exchanges envisions the broad prospect of the Sino-Egyptian ties, said Chinese Ambassador to Egypt Liao Liqiang in a recent exclusive interview with Xinhua, ahead of China’s top political advisor’s upcoming visit to the North African country.
Wang Yang, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, will pay official visits to Egypt and Oman from Nov. 10 to 16.
The high-level exchanges between China and Egypt have kept a robust momentum in recent years, which is represented by the fact that Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi has paid six visits to China since he took office in 2014 and the two heads of state have met nine times on different occasions, Liao said.
During President Sisi’s visit to China in 2014, the two sides upgraded the bilateral relations to a comprehensive strategic partnership, opening up a broader space for cooperation between the two countries in various fields.
In 2016, the bilateral relations received a further push as the two countries signed a five-year outline document to further their relations.
In 2018, Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan paid a visit to Egypt, and along with Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly witnessed the signing of cooperation documents in fields such as agriculture, education and culture.
In June 2019, Ali Abdel-Aal, speaker of the Egyptian Parliament, traveled to China for a visit.
“High-level exchanges between China and Egypt in recent years have strongly pushed forward the development of bilateral relations,” Liao said, adding that the guidance of the leaders of the two countries is the fundamental reason for the rapid development of Sino-Egyptian relations.
According to the Chinese ambassador, the number of Chinese companies operating in Egypt has exceeded 1,600 with a total investment of about 7 billion U.S. dollars, creating about 30,000 jobs for local Egyptians.
At the same time, Chinese companies have also actively participated in the development of the Suez Canal Economic Zone and the construction of Egypt’s new administrative capital, which has contributed to Egypt’s economic and social development, said Liao.
Trade between the two countries also increased tremendously. According to statistics from China Customs, the trade volume between China and Egypt in 2018 amounted to 13.87 billion dollars, an increase of 27.63 percent over the previous year. Among them, China imported 1.83 billion dollars of goods from Egypt, up 37.84 percent.
“As Egypt’s largest trading partner, China does not aim at pursuing a trade surplus and sincerely hopes to work with Egypt to expand Egypt’s exports to China and promote balanced trade development,” said Liao.
The two countries have also expanded cooperation in the field of cutting-edge technologies, especially in terms of satellite and telecommunications. In the financial sector, the central banks of the two countries signed a currency swap agreement totaling 18 billion yuan (about 2.57 billion U.S. dollars), and Egyptian commercial banks have started businesses about the Chinese currency.
“Boasting ancient civilizations, China and Egypt have a natural advantage in the people-to-people exchanges. We will continue to try our best in this regard so that Egyptian people will have a deeper understanding of China’s policies, concepts, development paths and culture,” said Liao.
He pointed out that there is a great potential for cooperation in the synergy of Egypt’s “2030 Vision” and “Suez Canal Corridor” development strategy with China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative.
Since the world is undergoing profound changes and instability and uncertainty are increasing, China and Egypt will maintain close high-level exchanges, deepen political mutual trust and strategy coordination, and strengthen the comprehensive strategic partnership, Liao stressed.
The ambassador said China and Egypt will continue to support each other on core interests, exchange views on bilateral relations and major issues of common concern, and enhance communication and cooperation on regional and international affairs.
“In the future, we will firmly implement the consensus reached by the top leaders of the two countries, and speed up cooperation within the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative so that we can transform the consensus into actual results,” he added.
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