Trade with Africa has been a traditional strength for Guangdong enterprises, and there is still tremendous potential for cooperation between Guangdong and Egypt. Here, Guangdong province leverage in China its own basic advantages to deepen economic and trade cooperation with Egypt.
The Chinese province of Guangdong enjoys special relations with Egypt, as they work together to advance and enhance economic and trade exchange and cooperation with the African continent, especially with Cairo. Bilateral trade between Egypt and China has witnessed a great leap over the past years, as Egypt opened its markets to Chinese products. Therefore, Egypt was keen to work and hold many joint discussions and meetings with officials of the Guangdong province, located in the south of the country, on the banks of the China Sea, on enhancing investment and trade. The trade and economic cooperation talks between Guangdong Province and Egypt were held under the supervision of the Guangdong Provincial People’s Government, in cooperation with the Guangdong Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation Authority and the General Authority for Investment and Free Zones in Egypt. The General Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce was also keen to open horizons for joint economic and investment cooperation with the province.
Egypt and officials in the province held a conference on investment and trade, to identify the most important joint investments between the two sides. Recently, the Guangdong Provincial Government sent an unprecedented large-scale trade and economic delegation to visit Cairo, which included more than 60 high-profile institutions covering all specialties to participate in the talks with the Egyptian side. The Chinese delegation represented a number of leading and important institutions in Guangdong Province, in the fields of communications, household electrical appliances, building and construction, motorcycle manufacturing, furniture, spinning and weaving and other light industries, to transfer their expertise and investments to the Egyptian side. Officials in the Chinese province, which represents the largest province in China in terms of the volume of foreign trade, also signed many agreements for investment cooperation with Egyptian businessmen.
The agreements included the establishment of a number of joint companies between the Egyptian and Chinese sides in the field of electronics, motorcycles and information technology, in addition to one agreement stipulating the acquisition of 32.5% of the shares of the Egyptian “Rako” Electronics Company. The total value of the signed agreements amounted to about $400 million, and they come within the framework of activating the role of Chinese companies in the economic zone northwest of the Gulf of Suez, which is being developed by TEDA Egypt.
Most of the agreements concluded between Egypt and the region aim to transfer Chinese manufacturing technology to the Egyptian market, on the condition that it is re-exported to the Middle East and African markets with an Egyptian mark of origin. The first of these agreements between Cairo and Guangdong was an agreement between the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation of Guangdong Province and the TEDA Egypt Investment Company to promote the economic zone in the northwestern Gulf of Suez to Chinese companies.
The Chinese Guangdong Group also signed an agreement with the Egypt China Friendship Motorcycle Company to export motorcycles, in addition to another agreement to establish a factory to assemble bicycles locally. The same group also signed another agreement with the Mittal Company to export electronic devices, while the Guangdong Environstar Company signed an agreement with TEDA Egypt to establish a factory for non-woven fabrics.
In Guangdong, indications of the success of the openness experiment pursued by China since the late 1970s are disappearing. What is striking is that most cities in Guangdong Province are full of visitors from all over the world, especially Arabs and Africans, who go there for the purpose of trade and seeking investment. The province is considered one of the regions characterized by the diversity of its industries, their quality and attractive prices, as well as commercial activities in various fields. Thanks to the presence of trading ports since ancient times, Guangdong has a long history of trade exchanges.