China, Egypt: MoU on soda ash plant joint venture

An Egyptian bank and a Chinese chemicals company have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to set up a soda ash joint venture in Egypt.
Under the MoU, signed between the China National Chemical…

An Egyptian bank and a Chinese chemicals company have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to set up a soda ash joint venture in Egypt. Under the MoU, signed between the China National Chemical Engineering Corporation (CNCEC) and the National Bank of Egypt on 17 December 2006, the soda ash factory with joint investment is to be built in Fayyum, 85 km south of Cairo, Cao Jiachang, the commercial counsellor at the Chinese embassy to Egypt, told official Chinese news agency Xinhua. Cao said that the deal is fruit of the stronger Chinese-Egyptian economic and trade cooperation following the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation and Egyptian President Husni Mubarak“s visit to China in early November 2006. The Egyptian Foreign Trade and Industry Minister Rashid Muhammed Rashid Husayn also said in a statement that “this deal comes as one result of the sustained efforts by Egypt to strengthen and deepen its economic ties with China. We want to attract Chinese investors to use Egypt as a production base and a natural gateway to Europe, the Middle East and Africa”. According to the statement, the cost of the first phase of the joint investment will be USD 90 million and the MoU also prescribes a joint contract to be signed between the two parties early in 2007. CNCEC, a leading manufacturer of petrochemicals, fine chemicals and fertilizers, is directly administrated by the State Council of China.