30 April 2019
Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation

The Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation (BRF) was held in Beijing, China, on April 25-27. The Forum provided an opportunity to evaluate the Belt and Road Initiative launched six years ago, and aimed to create a more realistic roadmap for the development of the Belt and Road Initiative, focusing on the impact of business between China and the Belt and Road countries.

The Forum was attended by President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi and a number of heads of state and government, and over 1,500 participants. During his participation, the Minister of Communications and Information Technology Amr Talaat delivered a speech, in which he presented the main policies that Egypt has adopted to achieve the transition into a digital economy.

Furthermore, Talaat and China’s Minister of Industry and Information Technology Miao Wei, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to promote ICT development and exchange benefit between the two countries to enhance investment cooperation, technology development, and explore ICT market. This is in addition to developing and supporting training, policies, and research, and driving innovation and entrepreneurship to serve the public and private sector in the two countries.

Following the signing, Talaat and Wei discussed enhancing cooperation in AI, cloud computing, telecommunication infrastructure, and supporting technological innovation.

Moreover, the two sides agreed on creating an Egyptian-Chinese innovation program to develop technological solutions to overcome different challenges in all life aspects by using modern technologies, such as e-learning and big data analysis. In addition, they discussed cooperation with the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology (CAICT), subordinate to China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), to implement the program.

In addition, the ICT Minister witnessed the ceremony of signing a transit agreement between Telecom Egypt (TE), Pakistan and East Africa Connecting Europe (PEACE) and PCCW Global, a leading telecommunications provider in Hong Kong. Under the agreement, PEACE cable will cross Egypt through various new terrestrial routes between the two landing stations in Zaafarana and Abu Talat, where TE will provide the cable with the state of the art landing facilities. The total value of this agreement is estimated at US$ 45 million over the lifetime of the cable. PEACE cable is a 12,000 km submarine cable system with landing points in Pakistan, Djibouti, Egypt, Kenya and France.

Talaat also witnessed the signing ceremony of a Letter of Intent (LoI) between TE, PEACE and its parent company Hengtong Optic Electric co., one of the Chinese giants in the field of industry and technology. PEACE will provide another transit route in Egypt to accommodate the growing demand of traffic to Europe with a total value of $ 20 million.

In addition, Talaat witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between TE and Huawei to cooperate in the field of advanced mobile networks to upgrade and develop TE networks and services provided to customers. TE and Huawei will conduct a number of technical experiments.

During the event, the ICT Minister also held several meetings with officials of 10 major ICT Chinese companies to discuss stimulating new investments in the Egyptian market, transferring technology and developing capacity building.
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