China to Build First Foreign Industrial Zone in Egypt

This new zone will serve as a hub in the region for Chinese manufacturers looking to move closer to markets throughout the Middle East and Africa.

Expected to draw $2.5 billion in investment, China will build its first ever foreign industrial zone in Egypt, the Commerce and Industry minister said Oct. 30.

The five-square-kilometer (two-square-mile) Chinese Egyptian Zone for Cooperation and Trade will be built near Suez over the next 13 years at a cost of $100 million, Mohammed Rachid said.

The deal, inked during a visit by Chinese Deputy Minister of Commerce Liao Xiaoqi, is expected to attract Chinese investments in industries including garments, textiles and electronics.

The deal "is a testament to the considerable advantages that Egypt today offers as a manufacturing destination," Rachid said. "This new zone will serve as a hub in the region for Chinese manufacturers looking to move closer to markets throughout the Middle East and Africa."

Rachid said during a visit to China last year that Egypt wanted to establish a "special relationship" that could see the U.S. replaced as Egypt's key economic partner.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2007

TAGS: Trade
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