Sunday, September 10, 2006

Growing Economic Partnership between Egypt and China

Egypt says China will be Biggest Trading Partner in Eight Years
Egypt Seeks Stronger Trade Ties with China

Mr. Rachid Mohamed Rachid, Egypt's Minister of Trade and Industry, addressed the World Economic China Business Summit held in Beijing and predicted that China would surpass the U.S. as Egypt's biggest individual trading partner within eight years. China has already begun to replace American and European suppliers not just in consumer products, but also capital goods. Mr. Rachid noted that the increase in trade with China will have a "large impact" on Egypt's economic policies.

There appears to be three main reasons for the progress in economic and trade cooperation between Egypt and China. First, Chinese enterprises have begun to show interest in the petroleum, cotton and some other products of Egypt. Second, the Egyptian government is adopting various measures to strive to expand the export of commodities. Finally, it is anticipated that there will be a general growth in the demand for imported commodities in various parts of China.

China and Egypt agreed to set up a Chinese industrial zone in Egypt for joint investment in textiles, footwear and pharmaceuticals, as well as an international exhibitions complex outside Cairo with planned investment of $500 million.

According to Mr. Rachid some of the benefits of their economic relationship are: Egypt has labor costs that are equal, or less than those of China; Egypt has lower energy costs than China; and goods produced in Egypt can go to the European market at lower costs because Egypt has a free trade agreement with Europe.

"We want to be China's gateway to Europe, Africa and the Middle East, through
our basket of preferential trade agreements with these markets", Mr. Rachid
Mohamed Rachid, Egypt's Minister of Trade and Industry.

China has become an increasingly important economic partner to countries in the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America. Is there any reason to be concerned about China's economic policies?

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