Al-Mashat: We look forward to strengthening tripartite cooperation in the field of assembling and testing satellites between Egypt, China and African countries

The project is a culmination of the joint cooperation efforts between the Arab Republic of Egypt and the People’s Republic of China, and under the leadership of H.E. President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, and their diversity in various fields, especially in the field of scientific research and exchange of experiences, Prime Minister Dr. Mostafa Madbouly witnessed yesterday the signing of the handover and delivery certificate for the “Assembly and Integration and Testing Satellite Center”.

The satellite test was carried out with Chinese grants, and the agreement was signed by H.E. Dr. Rania Al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation and Minister of Commerce from the Chinese side.

Coinciding with that occasion, H.E. Al-Mashat stated that the project is a milestone in the history of Egyptian-Chinese relations, especially in transferring expertise and exchanging knowledge within the “Assembly and Integration and Testing Satellite Center” that was implemented by the Egyptian Space Agency. This is through the Chinese grant provided to the Egyptian government in an amount equivalent to $21 million, pointing out that the project is one of the most important development cooperation projects between Egypt and China.

Earlier, economic and technical cooperation agreements were signed between the Ministry of International Cooperation and the Chinese side, according to which Chinese grants provided a total of an estimated equivalent of $92 million, to implement the two satellite projects, EgyptSat-2 and the Satellite Assembly, Integration and Testing Center.

The Minister explained that the project contributed positively to transferring Chinese expertise in the field of assembling and testing satellites to Egyptian cadres, and the center witnessed Egyptian and Chinese technicians undertaking the technical work related to assembling and testing the EgyptSat 2 satellite, which was successfully launched on December 4, 2023 from China.

The Minister of International Cooperation stated that Chinese support for the Egyptian space program represents a unique model for exchanging knowledge, best practices and technologies in the field of remote sensing between both countries, in order to ensure the transfer of advanced Chinese expertise in this field to the Egyptian technical teams.

H.E. noted that, based on the presence of the African Space Agency’s headquarters in Egypt, the government is looking forward to strengthening cooperation with the Chinese side in this field, to include this cooperation with more African countries to enhance the exchange of knowledge and the best technologies between Egypt, China and African countries.

The Minister witnessed the completion of the work of assembling and testing the satellite (Misr Sat 2) in cooperation with the Chinese side, last June, at the headquarters of the Egyptian Space Agency, in the presence of the Chinese Ambassador to Cairo, Liu Liqiang, and Dr. Sherif Sedky, CEO of the Egyptian Space Agency, as well as the financial manager of the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC), and representatives from both countries.

Egyptian-Chinese relations

It is worth noting that Egypt and China enjoy long-standing historical relations, as both countries are among the most important and oldest civilizations in the world, which represents a strong base for the continued excellence of relations between the two countries over the past decades.

Although Egyptian-Chinese relations at the level of development cooperation began in the 1990s, they have achieved breakthroughs since 2014, when H.E. President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi visited the People’s Republic of China and signed the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership Agreement with the Chinese side.

Through joint cooperation, many vital projects are being implemented in the fields of transportation, in addition to projects in the education, health, and industrial localization sectors, as well as cooperation in exchanging experiences and knowledge, including the inauguration of the satellite assembly and testing center, which is one of the most important projects that have been implemented in Egypt through Chinese grants; a milestone in South-South cooperation.

Memorandum of Understanding Global Development Initiative

Among the most prominent results achieved within the framework of joint cooperation during the past year 2023 is the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding of the Global Development Initiative (GDI), during the visit of the Minister of International Cooperation to China, which establishes a new phase of joint work with China, through which work will be done to formulate an integrated strategy for development cooperation between both countries for 3 to 5 years, for the first time.

This will include the areas and projects that will be implemented through the development cooperation program, as well as the signing of a memorandum of understanding in the field of debt swap between the Ministry of International Cooperation and the China International Development Cooperation Agency (CIDCA), reflecting the strength of the common relations between the two countries.

Al-Mashat also participated in the high-level meeting held by H.E. Han Zheng, Vice President of the People’s Republic of China, in response to the invitation extended by the Chinese Vice President to the Minister to represent Egypt and the continent of Africa in the meeting, last July, along with representatives of delegations, countries and organizations participating in the Forum on Global Action for Shared Development in Beijing, China.

The meeting aimed to discuss the results of the forum and learn about the opinions of participating officials and proposals for development and improvement of work mechanisms during the upcoming sessions in light of strengthening efforts to implement the sustainable development goals in response to the Global Development Initiative proposed by the Chinese President in 2021.

Debt Swap

Last October, Prime Minister H.E. Dr. Mostafa Madbouly witnessed the signing by H.E. Dr. Rania Al-Mashat, and CIDCA President Luo Zhaohui for the first memorandum of understanding to enhance cooperation with China in the field of debt swaps for development. This was on the sidelines of the activities of the third session of the Belt and Road Forum.

The memorandum of understanding aims to enhance cooperation between the two countries in the field of debt swaps in order to implement development projects, which is one of the innovative financing tools that works to support the government’s efforts in partnership with the Chinese side to achieve sustainable development, by using tranches of Chinese debt to implement agreed-upon development projects on both sides.

The cooperation portfolio with China amounts to about $1.7 billion to implement many projects in various development sectors, including electricity, health, education, vocational training, and others. Recently, the Minister of International Cooperation witnessed the ceremony of completing the work of assembling and testing the satellite (Misr Sat 2) in cooperation with the Chinese side, at the headquarters of the Egyptian Space Agency.

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