Egyptian, Chinese officials hail progress in joint construction of Egypt's new capital


CAIRO, Dec. 10 (Xinhua) -- Egyptian and Chinese officials hailed on Tuesday the progress in co-building massive skyscrapers in Egypt's new administrative capital.

At the construction site, 50 km east of the Egyptian capital Cairo, China State Construction Engineering Corporation (CSCEC) marked the progress with Egyptian partners in a ceremonial conference attended by officials from the Egyptian Housing Ministry and the Chinese embassy in Cairo.

The CSCEC started in mid-2018 building 20 skyscrapers in the planned new capital's Central Business District (CBD).

Chang Weicai, general manager of CSCEC Egypt, told the attendees that the CBD project represents the implementation of both Egypt's Vision 2030 and China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) to seek common development among participating states.

"We seek to enhance cooperation with all Egyptian partners and join hands to make the CBD project the most beautiful urban construction in Egypt and North Africa," Chang said, stressing that CSCEC has been a partner in the modernization process of Egypt since it entered the country over 30 years ago.

Some of the skyscrapers have already risen above the ground, including the Iconic Tower, which is currently standing at 80 meters high but is expected to finally exceed 385 meters to become the tallest tower in Egypt and Africa.

Khaled Abbas, Egypt's deputy housing minister, pointed out that the CBD project is going as scheduled, adding that the ministry will start receiving the completed skyscrapers one by one from the second half of 2021.

He said that the Iconic Tower will be fully completed in mid-2022 to mark the completion of the CBD project.

"What's more important than construction is to transfer the Chinese technology and expertise of building such huge towers to Egyptian engineers," said the Egyptian minister, noting that about 600 Egyptian engineers and 4,000 Egyptian workers are working on the project.

"The Iconic Tower is actually 'iconic' of the China-Egypt relations and a springboard for further continuous cooperation between the two sides," said Ahmed Sallam, undersecretary of Egypt's State Information Service.

Sallam, a former media consultant at the Egyptian embassy in China, told Xinhua that the China-Egypt ties are "distinguished."

He added that the leaderships of both countries share their visions on boosting mutual cooperation and joint development, particularly under China's BRI in which Egypt plays an important role.