16 July 2019 10:57 AM

Egypt State Information Service (SIS)

SIS: Egypt has pivotal role in 3rd FOCAC Summit

Sunday، 02 September 2018 - 03:28 PM

Egypt's participation in the 2018 Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), which will be held during the period Sept 3-4,2018 acquires special importance as Cairo will assume the African Union (AU) presidency in less than three months, the State Information Service (SIS) has said.

In a report published on Sunday 2/9/2018 to mark President Abdel Fattah El Sisi's current visit to China to take part in the summit that will be chaired by Chinese President Xi Jinping, it also said that Egypt's upcoming presidency of the AU would certainly maximize its role and double its responsibilities towards cooperation with its fellow African States in putting into effect the forum's resolutions for the best interest of all parties.

It noted that Egypt will host and chair the "Africa 2018 Forum" in Sharm El Sheikh during the period 8-9 December 2018 with the aim of providing a platform for heads of state and government as well as private sector and business leaders in Africa and the world to discuss a wide range of business and development issues in the Continent and to engage with some of Africa's most important economic partners and stakeholders. Elaborating it said that Egypt will also host the first-ever Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF), set to be held in Cairo in December 2018.

Thus, Egypt's participation in FOCAC Summit is highly important from the political and economic perspectives in view of Cairo's interest in boosting cooperation with Africa as well as China, a rising global giant at the political, economic and strategic levels, SIS added in its report.

Themed "China and Africa: Toward an Even Stronger Community with a Shared Future through Win-Win Cooperation," the Beijing-hosted summit will be a significant diplomatic event attended by the largest number of foreign leaders to date.

This year is the third time the summit has convened, following the inaugural 2006 summit in Beijing and the 2015 summit in Johannesburg, said Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi.

African leaders and the chairman of the African Union (AU) will be in attendance, and the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General will be the esteemed guest, joined by 27 international and African groups as observers.

The interest in the forum is a result of China's growing influence on the African continent and proves the FOCAC has been pragmatic and efficient.

Established 18 years ago, FOCAC has achieved fruitful results and has become a significant mark of China-Africa cooperation. China-Africa trade volume amounted to $170 billion in 2017, up from just over $10 billion in 2000, according to data from China's Ministry of Commerce.

The summit will conclude with the signing of a declaration and an action plan, providing guidelines for China-Africa cooperation for the next three years.

The documents are expected to build on the outcomes of the Johannesburg summit, during which Xi announced 10 major cooperation plans to promote industrialization and agricultural modernization in Africa. Most of the plans have been implemented.

This year marks the fifth anniversary of the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative, with more African countries expressing their interest in joining the grand project.

So far, nearly 10 African countries have signed Belt and Road cooperation agreements with China, and a few more are in negotiations. Recently in July, during President Xi's visit to Africa, China signed cooperation documents with Senegal and Rwanda.

Proposed in 2013, the Belt and Road Initiative, which refers to the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, aims to build a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along the ancient trade routes of the Silk Road.

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