China launches 117th Canton Fair, eyes ‘aggressive’ Egyptian participation
Han Bing, Minister Counselor for Economic Affairs - YOUM7

CAIRO: China’s Foreign Trade Center (CFTC) urged Egyptian businessmen and traders to participate “aggressively” in the upcoming 117th Canton Fair, slated for April 15 to May 5 at the Import and Export Fair Complex in Guangzhou.

The call came during the launch of the 117th Canton Fair at a press conference held in Cairo by CFTC which organizes the Canton Fair, in collaboration with the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in Egypt.

Speaking from China via video conference, Liu Jiangjun, Deputy Director General of CFTC, said, “Trade between Egypt and China has recently flourished,” noting that the Egyptian delegation is usually the largest out of all delegations coming from the MENA region to Canton Fair, reflecting strong commercial ties between Egypt and China.

“I am confident that both countries are committed to maintaining such healthy relations,” said Jiangjun.

Trade volume between China and Egypt has been growing “steadily” over the past three years despite Egypt’s economic turmoil triggered from political instability, Han Bing, Minister Counselor for Economic Affairs.

In 2012, China became the top trade partner for Egypt, with a trade volume representing 7.8 percent of Egypt’s total trade. Total volume of commercial trade between both countries edged up from $10.2 billion in 2013 to $11.6 billion in 2014, of which $1.16 billion were Egyptian exports to China, and $10.46 billion were Egyptian imports from China, Bing detailed.

Egypt and China signed a comprehensive strategic partnership agreement between the two countries during President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi’s 1st visit to Beijing in December. Also, ministers from both sides signed a number of agreements on economic and technical cooperation between the two countries.

“Signing this agreement has placed the bilateral relations at new levels,” said Bing, adding that the Chinese delegation participation in the recent Egypt Economic Development Conference (EEDC) held this month in Sharm el-Sheikh, shows his country’s interest in promoting economic cooperation.

He added that is also reflected the Chinese business circles’ interest in Egypt’s “promising” market.

The Canton Fair, which was initially launched in 1957 in Guangzhou, has enjoyed the largest scale and the best business turnover in China for over 50 years. It also attracted the biggest buyer attendance from the broadest range of countries for 116 sessions, according to a press statement distributed on reporters.

“At Canton Fair, we are dedicated to improving commercial relations with all countries and Egypt is of course an important one… It also provides a good opportunity to help trade disputes through an office established for this purpose,” Bing said.

Business associations and traders will be given advice on how to choose a good Chinese partner or manufacturers to bring in high quality Chinese products and durable at the same time, he added.

The 116th Canton Fair which concluded Nov. 4, 2014 attracted 186,104 buyers from 211 countries and regions, reflecting its commercial value and contribution to global trade, the statement read.

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