Egyptian president mulls with Chinese firms to build fast tram around Cairo

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-07-19 09:58

CAIRO — Egyptian President Sisi met a coalition of Chinese firms Tuesday over building a light rail transit around Cairo.

China's AVIC International and China Railway Group Limited are jointly in charge of carrying out the project.

"The meeting reached an initial agreement on the project yet it would need more time and further negotiations until a final deal is reached," the Economic and Commercial Counsellor's Office of the Chinese embassy in Cairo told Xinhua after the meeting.

Egyptian presidential spokesman Alaa Youssef said that the meeting, attended by Egyptian Transport Minister Hesham Arafat, discussed the latest developments of the negotiations on the light rail project.

"The project is part of the plan implemented by the Transport Ministry to develop the railway network and improve its services nationwide," said the Egyptian presidential spokesman.

The aspired light rail is a fast tram expected to cover a distance of 66 kilometers with 11 stops, connecting the new administrative capital city with distant districts of Greater Cairo including Al-Salam city, Ramadan 10 city, Obour city, Badr city and Shorouk city.

The Chinese group said it would assign Egyptian contractors with some civil and railway construction works that will provide thousands of job opportunities in the country.

Egypt and China enjoy strong bilateral relations that have been elevated to the level of comprehensive strategic partnership. The two countries marked in 2016 the 60th anniversary of the establishment of their diplomatic relations.

The volume of trade between Egypt and China has mounted to $11.3 billion in 2016, ranking Egypt as the third African trade partner with China.

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