ㄑ Belt and Road ㄑ Opinion

BRI boosts Chinese investments in Egypt, says expert

Belt & Road
The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has boosted Chinese investments and engagement in a series of projects in Egypt, an Egyptian economic expert has said.

XinhuaUpdated: October 20, 2020

The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has boosted Chinese investments and engagement in a series of projects in Egypt, an Egyptian economic expert has said.

"When international cooperation is based on the win-win rule, you will not find opponents in such cooperation, that is the case with the BRI," economic expert Walid Gaballah, who is also a member of the Egyptian Association for Political Economy, told Xinhua in a recent interview.

China was inspired by the spirit of the past to create the future by "reviving the ancient Silk Road in the form of two trade corridors, connecting Asia, Europe and Africa with trade, economic, cultural and intellectual links," he added.

Proposed in 2013, the BRI aims to build trade and infrastructure networks connecting Asia with Europe and Africa on and beyond the ancient Silk Road routes. It comprises the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.

The Egyptian expert noted that the initiative is a "multi-axis integration framework based on dialogue that is meant to make a better future for all."

The initiative is pumping huge investments into countries along the route to create more jobs and achieve more growth, Gaballah said.

He added that the initiative has consolidated Egypt's partnership with Chinese companies in implementing mega projects such as the huge Central Business District in the new administrative capital, solar power stations as well as the project to establish an integrated Chinese textile city in Sadat City.

"Such projects reflect successful cooperation between Egypt and China within the framework of the initiative to get the most benefits for both parties," Gaballah said, adding that the initiative led to an increase in Chinese investments in Egypt.

According to the Chinese Embassy in Egypt, China-Egypt trade volume reached 6.69 billion U.S. dollars in the first half of 2020, up 2.7 percent year-on-year, while China's total investments in Egypt exceed 7 billion dollars.

In Gaballah's view, the BRI is a framework that regulates the common desire of China and Egypt to enhance economic cooperation.

He believes that the initiative will be increasing popular in Egypt. For example, the Chinese textile project in Sadat City, which aims to establish more than 500 factories, will create about 160,000 job opportunities for local people.

As for the importance of the initiative to Africa, Gaballah said the BRI provided an opportunity for further cooperation between China and Africa through the platform of the China-Africa Cooperation Forum.

The expert stressed that the BRI is not only a development initiative, but will also help boost friendship and trust between people.

China has provided medical supplies to Africa and shared its experience in combating COVID-19 with African countries, he noted, adding that Africa's confidence in China's support has contributed to the success of the initiative.