Leading Lights: Egypt reaps benefits of cooperation with China

Yasmine Fouad, Egypt's Environment Minister.
Yasmine Fouad, Egypt’s Environment Minister.

Cooperation between China and Egypt has grown exponentially over the years, as both countries made deliberate efforts to strengthen ties across multiple sectors.

China is currently the largest exporter to Egypt and a major investor in the North African nation, which has also reaped benefits in other areas.

The two nations not only boast of strong political and economic cooperation, but also on other sectors such as environmental affairs. China plays a pivotal role in Egypt’s 2050 strategy to counter climate change, and has supported various projects in line with the agenda.

“Transformation to a green Sharm has been supported by China’s Ministry of Environment by providing energy efficient bulbs, street lighting, cooling technologies, so that we are moving COP to be environmentally friendly,” said Yasmine Fouad, Egypt’s Environment Minister.

“In my capacity as the ex-president of the CBD COP14, I handed over to my colleague from China last October to tackle the biodiversity COP15 that will take place in December,” she pointed out.

The North African country is scheduled to host the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Sharm el-Sheikh, from November 6 to 18.

Cairo sees the forum as an opportunity to strengthen cooperation with China aimed at putting both countries towards the path to tackling climate change.

China will be given special status at the COP27 climate conference because of its leading role in protecting biodiversity.

“China is tackling the issue of biodiversity that will be discussed in Montreal in December for the 2020 framework for biodiversity and Egypt is hosting COP27 in November,” said Fouad.

“Building upon each other is very important and that is why we were very keen to have a full dedicated day for biodiversity and give that opportunity to our Chinese friends and colleagues to stress on their points to come up with a really successful COP27 and CBD COP15.”

Egypt is already reaping the benefits of its cooperation with China.

The Asian nation is a partner in multi-billion dollar ecofriendly projects in Egypt, some of which include Egypt’s first monorail, first high speed train, first electric bus, in addition to investments in Benban, one of the largest solar parks in the world.

With China’s support, Cairo is also expected to roll out its first locally produced electric vehicle soon.

“I describe the transfer of technology from China to Egypt in the area of renewable energy as an outstanding one, and should be further upscaled and replicated. These kind of technologies we don’t only need for transfer but also the knowhow that by the time we start implementing that in the next few years we call them affordable technologies that could be localized and upscaled,” Egypt’s Environment Minister said.

The success story that has been recorded so far in the cooperation between China and Egypt continues to be celebrated widely, but the two nations foresee even stronger ties ahead, with far reaching results that will have lasting positive impacts for both peoples.