Forum on BRI and New Practices of China-Africa Cooperation held in Cairo

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The International Forum of Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and New Practices of China-Africa Cooperation is held in Cairo, Egypt, June 16, 2019

CAIRO, June 17 (Xinhua/GNA) — The International Forum of Belt

and Road Initiative (BRI) and New Practices of China-Africa

Cooperation kicked off Sunday in the Egyptian capital Cairo.

   The two-day event is hosted by the Belt and Road African

Studies Alliance and Egypt’s Ain Shams University and is

organized by China’s Institute for African Studies of Guangdong

University of Foreign Studies and the Research Center for Belt

and Road Initiative of Ain Shams University.

   Some 80 people attended the conference including government

officials, entrepreneurs, experts, scholars and researchers from

Nigeria, Kenya, China and Egypt.

   During the conference, experts and scholars will discuss

China-Africa industrial promotion, the relation between Egypt’s

economy and China-Africa cooperation, China-Egypt cooperation

under the framework of BRI.

   They will also tackle industrialization, vocational career

education development in African countries and new journey for

cooperation in Belt and Road construction.

   Proposed by China in 2013, the BRI refers to the Silk Road

Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, which aims

to build a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with

Europe, Africa and beyond along the ancient trade routes of the

Silk Road.

   Speaking at the opening ceremony, Han Bing, minister counselor

for economic affairs at the Chinese Embassy in Cairo, said the

key to the achievements of the BRI was to conform to the trend of

peace and development, adhere to the principle of achieving

shared growth through discussion and collaboration.

   “Against the background of the current anti-globalization

trend and the rise of protectionism, the Belt and Road has issued

a strong voice against unilateralism and protectionism,” he

stressed.

   In the past six years, the cooperation under the BRI has been

fruitful. The total trade volume of goods between China and the

countries involved in the BRI has exceeded 5 trillion U.S.

dollars, according to him.

   The Chinese diplomat noted that Egypt was a natural partner in

the construction of the BRI, pointing out that China-Egypt

economic and trade cooperation had been elevated to a new height

in recent years.

   “The volume of bilateral trade and the quality of bilateral

trade have improved. In 2018, the total trade volume exceeded

13.8 billion U.S. dollars, a record high. Egypt’s exports to

China have grown substantially, and agricultural products such as

fresh oranges and grapes have continued to enter the Chinese

market,” Han added.

   He highlighted that the financial cooperation between the two

countries has continued to advance, noting that the number of

Chinese tourists to Egypt had reached 400,000 in 2018, an

increase of more than 30 percent.

   “Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi pointed out at the

Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in April

this year that the goal of the initiative was consistent with

Egypt’s efforts to launch a series of large-scale projects with

high returns and diversified investment opportunities,” Han said.

   As the African Union’s presiding country in 2019, Egypt has

played an important role in promoting China-Africa cooperation

within the framework of the initiative, he said.

   “We believe that as African Free Trade Zone takes effect this

year, the prospects for China-Africa economic and trade

cooperation will be even broader,” He stressed.

   Meanwhile, president of Ain Shams University, Abdel Wahab

Ezzat, said his university, together with other universities

engaged in Egyptian-Chinese and Afro-Sino cooperation, prepares

studies about bilateral relations and areas of cooperation

between the two countries.

   “University is the home of knowledge and experiences. It is

true that trade, politics and business control countries, but we

need science to learn all these fields,” he said.

   He added that his university’s Research Center for Belt and

Road Initiative conducts economic, commercial and technical

studies for projects and cooperation between Egypt and China.

   “We may help implement our studies if we are asked to, but we

mainly focus on preparing researches for Belt and Road and other

mutual projects,” he pointed out.

   Founded in October 2018, Belt and Road African Studies

Alliance is set up to implement the outcomes of Forum on China-

Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) held in Beijing in September 2018.

   Gathering professional researchers and institutes for African

studies from all over the world, the alliance aims to serve as an

interdisciplinary and cross-border communication platform to

share resources, explore knowledge, disseminate technology,

enhance understanding and promote applications.

   The alliance now has 34 members, including 16 from African

countries, 16 from China and two from Europe.

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