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China to pump billions into Mideast industrial projects

CAIRO, January 25, 2016

Chinese President Xi Jinping has announced $55 billion in special loans for industrial projects in the Middle East with a special focus on Egypt aimed at boosting its electricity and transport infrastructure, said a report.

Xi made the offer during an address to the Cairo-based Arab League after holding talks with Egypt's President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi during his first tour to the Middle East as president, according to a AFP report.

"China will offer $15 billion as special loans for industrial projects in the Middle East," he told the Arab League.

Also another $10 billion would be provided as commercial loans to boost co-operation in the energy sector and an equivalent amount will be offered as preferential loans, he added.

The Chinese premier also announced the establishment of a common investment fund worth $20 billion for Qatar and the UAE, stated the report.

Beijing has long taken a backseat to other diplomatic players in the Middle East but analysts say the region is crucial to Xi's signature foreign policy initiative - known as "One Belt One Road" - touted as a revival of ancient Silk Road trade routes, stated the report.

China, the world's second-largest economy, also relies heavily on oil and gas imported from the energy-rich Middle East, it added.

Tags: Middle East | China | industrial projects | Xi |

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