Egypt and the Chinese tech giant Huawei signed a cooperation agreement yesterday.
Egypt’s Information Technology Industry Development Agency and Huawei will work together to identify Egyptian startups to receive training from Huwaei in technical support, as well as cloud and artificial intelligence technology. They are specifically targeting startups in the AI, data management, gaming and e-commerce fields, the state-owned Al-Ahram news outlet reported.
“The program seeks to tremendously impact our entrepreneurship ecosystem in Egypt, unlocking the path of promising opportunities. It also meets our primary goals of boosting innovation in Egypt,” said agency vice president Hossam Othman, per Al-Ahram.
Huawei is primarily known in the Middle East for manufacturing smartphones. Their products are a popular alternative to iPhones and Androids.
Why it matters: Egypt’s ties to the People’s Republic are improving. China’s Environment Ministry recently sent Egypt solar power systems, power-saving air conditioners and more. China is helping Egypt prepare to host a United Nations climate change conference in the Red Sea city Sharm el-Sheikh, Al-Monitor reported today.
Last week, Egypt’s General Authority for Investment and Free Zones signed an agreement with the Chinese company Haier Group Corporation to build an industrial complex for making household appliances, according to Egyptian media.
Egypt is also considering selling bonds priced in China’s currency, the yuan.
China is pursuing a strategy of economic cooperation, focusing less on security issues.
Know more: China’s ties with Egypt’s allies Saudi Arabia are also improving. Huawei also signed an agreement with a Saudi education center in February to train Saudis in technology. Last week, the Saudi oil giant Aramco signed a cooperation deal with a Chinese energy company.
Iran’s trade with China is also rising.
In January, Syria joined China’s Belt and Road infrastructure initiative. Several other Middle Eastern states are already part of the pact.