COVID-19 has "little impact" on Egypt-China bilateral trade: Chinese ambassador



The COVID-19 pandemic has little impact on Egyptian-Chinese bilateral trade and China remains Egypt's largest trade partner, Chinese Ambassador to Cairo Liao Liqiang told a press conference on Thursday.

Liao pointed out that bilateral imports and exports in the first quarter of this year reached 3.185 billion U.S. dollars, marking a slight increase of 0.91 percent compared to the same period last year.

According to the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, bilateral trade between China and Egypt reached 13.2 billion U.S. dollars in 2019.

"In terms of investment in the first quarter of 2020, China's direct investment in Egypt reached 35.43 million U.S. dollars," said the Chinese ambassador, noting that China's total investment in Egypt exceeds 7 billion U.S. dollars.

China State Construction Engineering Corporation (CSCEC) is currently building a massive 20-tower business district in Egypt's new administrative capital city, some 50 km east of Cairo.

The Central Business District (CBD) project includes the would-be 385-m high 80-floor Iconic Tower which is expected to be the tallest skyscraper in Egypt and Africa upon completion.

"In Egypt's new capital CBD project, the construction of the Iconic Tower structure has reached the 30th floor, and the progress of the project has hardly been affected by the epidemic," Liao told reporters.

He stressed that all Chinese companies operating in Egypt have been taking precautionary measures to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus while maintaining stable production at the same time.

Chinese industrial developer Tianjin Economic-Technological Development Area (TEDA) is currently developing a total area of more than 7 square km in Egypt's Suez Canal Economic Zone in Ain Sokhna district of Suez province, east of the Egyptian capital Cairo.

As of May this year, China-Egypt TEDA Suez Economic and Trade Cooperation Zone has attracted total 85 companies, with a cumulative investment of more than 1 billion U.S. dollars, providing some 4,000 job opportunities to Egyptian citizens, according to the Chinese ambassador.

Egypt and China share distinguished bilateral relations that have been elevated to the level of comprehensive strategic partnership.

The two countries have been cooperating closely in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic through exchanging medical aid and expertise and offering mutual support and solidarity.

In early February, Egypt provided aid to China to help with its fight against COVID-19 and China later returned the favor by sending three batches of medical aid to the North African country, the latest of which was in mid-May.

Since mid-April, Chinese doctors and medical experts have held three video conferences with Egyptian counterparts to share their experience in the prevention and treatment of the novel coronavirus.