Electric, high-speed train agreements await Sisi’s signature

Transportation Minister Hany Dahy has concluded arrangements before President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi signs contracts for the high-speed train linking Cairo-Alexandria and Aswan as well as the electric train between Cairo-10th of Ramadan city- Al-Rubaki and Belbeis during his anticipated visit to China scheduled this week.

Egyptian government had intentions to carry out the two projects 12 years ago, however, the high costs estimated at around LE30 billion were the obstacle, Al-Masry Al-Youm said.

In remarks on Saturday, Dahy said that Sisi’s visit to China helped attract Chinese companies to fund and carry out the two national projects apart from the state budget. Costs of the electric train are estimated at US$1.5 billion. A preliminary agreement was signed 10 days ago. Sisi will sign the final agreement during his visit to China. The project will be carried out within two years. According to studies, the train is expected to transfer 52 million commuters annually.

For the high-speed train, the minister said that both the government and Chinese companies offered to fund the project whose costs for the first stage between Cairo and Alexandria are estimated at $3 billion. The stage is expected to be take around three years of work.

The minister said he met with the Chinese ambassador to Cairo Song Aiguo as well as the Chinese trade attache to follow on the situation with Chinese companies and governmental authorities with which preliminary agreements were struck over cooperation in fields of electric and high-speed trains as well as maintenance and development of the railways.

Meanwhile Trade and Industry Minister Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour said chiefs of 25 major Egyptian companies that deal with Chinese market will accompany President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi during his visit to China. They will take part in Egyptian-Chinese business forum that will take place during the visit.

During the bilateral talks with ambassador Aiguo over the arrangements made for the visit and agreements that will be signed, Abdel Nour indicated desire by Chinese companies to invest in Egypt and get engaged in partnership with Egyptian companies.

In a statement on Friday, Abdel Nour highlighted the importance of the China visit during which bilateral strategic partnership, that will lead to developing Egyptian-Chinese joint economic ties, will be signed.


Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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