Egypt is keen on tapping into the trade potential offered by China’s Silk Road Economic Belt trade union, especially in the context of linking the project with its Suez Canal.
Daily News Egypt reports that the country officially joined the initiative last week and will be represented by the Egyptian Businessmen Association (EBA).
According to media reports quoting EBA Executive Director Mohamed Youssef, China aims to raise $2.5tn in trade volume to the Silk Road trade union in 10 years and has already made a proposal to link the project to the Suez Canal.
The move comes as Egypt makes moves to attract more cargo ahead of the opening of the New Suez Canal slated for August 6th, 2015.
The expansion work has reached 85 percent completion, with 43 dredging machines working day and night to meet the deadline for excavation completion scheduled for July 15.
Once the two-way highway is completed, Egypt projects that up to 20,000 ships will pass through the route on an annual basis.
The expansion project will pave the way for the movement of ships of up to 20 meters in draft, thus bringing in billions of dollars in additional revenue to the country every year.
The USD 40 billion Silk Road Fund, which was proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping in December 2014, was officially launched earlier this year. The fund is intended to revive ancient maritime and land trade links between Asian countries by financing construction of infrastructural solutions and enhancing industrial and financial cooperation to reduce bottlenecks.
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