Following Morsi’s Visit, Chinese Investors See Promising Opportunities in ‘Gate to Africa’ Egypt
President Mohamed Morsi invited Chinese businessmen to invest in Egypt as a portal through which they can reach into the depths of Africa, and countries of the Arab Spring, Libya and Tunisia.
In a speech Wednesday, Morsi addressed the Egyptian-Chinese Business Forum in Beijing: "Egypt looks forward to fruitful cooperation with China in all economic fields".
He emphasized that there are promising opportunities for Chinese investors in Egypt, in addition to opportunities that exist now in Tunisia and Libya as they rebuild and develop.
The President promised investors to work to overcome all obstacles, stressing that Egypt is undergoing a new phase of progress and real comprehensive renaissance.
Morsi lauded China’s great civilization, stability and steady growth, expressing his gratitude to the government, leadership and the Chinese people, for the warm reception and hospitality they offered him.
"I look forward to a better future for the relations between Egypt and China, and fruitful cooperation in all fields between the two countries. I also look forward to new horizons of constructive cooperation and economic support in all areas."
Morsi further lauded the Chinese experience in economic growth and investment, confirming that it is a well-recognized, leading experience that grabbed the attention of the whole world, which regards it with respect and appreciation.
"We saw how – back in the early eighties – China imposed itself firmly on the international community, becoming a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council.
"This deserves appreciation and consideration with an eye to learning from China’s successes. Egypt also boasts a great and old civilization and has a long history comparable to the Chinese civilization and glorious history."
The President pointed that Egypt used to be an important country that everyone sought to cooperate with, and that it is pushing forth today by the will of its people and leadership, looking at the world – the East and West, the North and South – in a balanced manner.
"Egypt is reaching out to everyone for dialogue and cooperation, with a message of peace to the whole world. Egypt is most in need of friends at this stage. It will progress and prosper with the hard work and free will of its people, in a climate quite different from anything it previously witnessed, after the repressive corrupt regime has been removed."
Furthermore, President Morsi assured that the Egyptians are capable of building a modern thriving civilization at home as they have done several times in their history, that Egyptian society is most hospitable and warmly welcomes all visitors, and that the Egyptian people have a great experience in the unique relationship with the Chinese people.
Morsi also said that this meeting represents a cornerstone for this phase, and that the Egyptian government is keen to find in China a strategic ally in this stage. He stressed that he personally and all the leaders in Egypt as well as the Egyptian Parliament are keen to forge this strategic relationship.
The President pointed that Egypt is the natural gateway to Africa and the Middle East and that with its stable environment and promising investment horizons, it can cooperate with friends in China, which establishes a good link between China in the east and the Center of the globe in Africa through the gateway of Egypt.
"We want the Silk Road to return as a direct link between Egypt and China, as a radiant source of enlightenment and success."
Moreover, Morsi reminded of the speeches by the Egyptian Minister of Investment and the Minister of Industry and Foreign Trade, who spoke about joint ventures being great investment opportunities in Egypt.
Morsi said he spoke with the Chinese President during their meeting Wednesday regarding varied and numerous investment opportunities and joint ventures that could open other areas for investment.
The President pointed that Egypt is looking forward to a greater brighter future and a real transfer of technology in all fields and wants real industries and production built on proper scientific research.
"We want to offer to China and Chinese investors logistics services needed to take large Chinese investment across Egypt and into Africa and North Africa, where Libya and Tunisia are rebuilding and pushing for progress and development.
"We seek to provide all the conditions needed to overcome all obstacles for investors, in order to transfer Chinese technology to Egypt. I would certainly be glad to repeat my visit to China, if necessary, for the sake of the two countries and the two peoples. I have already invited the leaders of China to visit Egypt."
Meanwhile, President Mohamed Morsi met with Chinese Vice-President Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People, in order to further bilateral talks.
During his speech, Morsi affirmed that the relationship between the Egyptian and the Chinese peoples is a historic, strategic one, not temporary or transient, and that it represents the beginning of a new pathway between two great nations, and two glorious civilizations, hoping that this relationship will continue and flourish in the future.
At the outset of his address to the Chinese Vice-President in Beijing, Morsi said that the Chinese people are a great nation, and so is the Egyptian people, adding that they both suffered long years of troubles and hardship that made them true civilizations.
He assured that Egypt, with its current relative stability, is ready and eager to forge ahead with strong economic and political development, as happened in China.
For his part, the Chinese Vice President said that China holds great hopes in this visit by the Egyptian President, to expand cooperation between the two countries, and increase trade exchange between China and Egypt.
Meanwhile, Dr. Yasser Ali, the Egyptian President’s spokesman, said that the Chinese President announced he would support the tourism sector in Egypt. The Chinese government has decided to give Egypt a grant of 450 million Yuan (US$71 million) between 2012 and 2015.
Dr. Ali further said that talks between the Egyptian and the Chinese Presidents dealt with a range of proposals and projects of common interest, including increasing the number of flights between Cairo and Beijing from twice-weekly to 10 flights a week, and a high-speed train project that would cut travel time between Cairo and Alexandria to 40 minutes.
They also discussed the idea of building an Egyptian fishing fleet of ships to be operated in regional waters in cooperation with Chinese companies.
"A number of investment agreements have already been signed between Egyptian and Chinese businessmen, so far reaching a total investment of US$4.9 billion.
"The agreements are regarded as a major leap in investment between the two countries, considering that Chinese investments in Egypt until now do not exceed US$500 million."
Dr. Ali added that President Morsi has not yet ended talks with the Chinese, and that current talks can lead to an increase in investment agreements between the two countries.
On Wednesday, President Morsi visited the Chinese technological region called "High Tech Village", which is the world’s most advanced city in the field of information technology, and includes 20,000 companies, 500 of which are international corporations.
The Technological Village’s chief gave a brief explanation of all scientific fields in the city, as well as all the projects carried out there. He also gave a presentation of all investments in the Village, and the companies that play a significant part in it.
At the end of his visit, President Morsi recorded a special message in the Technological Village’s Visitor’s Book.