CAIRO, July 29 (Xinhua) -- Great and promising opportunities lie ahead in the coming years for increased Chinese investments in Egypt and trade exchanges between the two countries, said Ali Issa, chairman of the Egyptian Businessmen Association (EBA), in an interview with Xinhua.
"We at the EBA have long been interested in doing business with China for its tremendous potentials and outstanding ability to achieve success," Issa told Xinhua.
Issa hailed China's economy a major pillar of the global economy, saying the EBA has established a special committee to develop China-Egypt relations as Egypt is seeking to be China's biggest partner in Africa.
According to the EBA chairman, his association is exploring ways to increase trade between the two countries and Chinese investments in Egypt, especially after Egypt joined the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative.
The EBA signed cooperation protocols with 20 Chinese economic entities, including the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade and the China Federation of Industrial Economics, he noted.
Issa highlighted the importance of the Belt and Road Initiative in supporting Egypt's efforts to launch mega projects, especially the Suez Canal Development Project as a logistics industrial center.
Egypt is looking forward to more direct Chinese investments especially in the light of the improving Egyptian economy, he said.
"The optimism" that China's investments in Egypt will increase significantly in the coming years "is based on reality, not wishes," he added.
He mentioned Tianjin Economic-Technological Development Area (TEDA), a Chinese industrial developer which is currently developing an area of 7.23 square km in the Suez Canal economic region.
According to Issa, around 1,200 Chinese companies of all sizes are operating in Egypt in various sectors, notably industry, information technology and economic zones.
"A Chinese company is currently building a skyscraper in Egypt's New Administrative Capital ... it will be Africa's tallest structure," Issa said.
In 2018, the trade volume between Egypt and China exceeded 13.8 billion U.S. dollars, hitting a record high.
According to Chinese Ambassador to Egypt Liao Liqiang, China's investments in Egypt have reached nearly 7 billion dollars, 90 percent of which were pumped over the past five years, providing around 40,000 job opportunities.