Egypt and China discuss closer economic ties

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and visiting Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao on Sunday discussed ways for the two countries to boost economic and trade relations. The meeting came a day after Wen and his Egyptian counterpart, Ahmed Nazif, signed 10 agreements on oil and natural gas, telecommunications and the resumption of Egyptian citrus exports. China also agreed to give Egypt a US$50 million loan and a US$10 million grant to build an investment headquarters in an industrial area northwest of the Gulf of Suez. Trade between Egypt and China topped US$2 billion in 2005, an increase of 36 percent over the previous year. China has 186 projects in Egypt, with a total investment of US$220 million.