Interview: China could do more business, investment in Egypt: Egyptian billionaire businessman
Egyptian businessman Naguib Sawiris speaks during an interview with Xinhua in Hurghada, Egypt, on Sept. 27, 2019. Egyptian business tycoon Naguib Sawiris said China could do more business and investments in Egypt, noting that the most populous Arab country is "the center of the Arab world and the gateway to Africa." (Xinhua/Ahmed Gomma)
HURGHADA, Egypt, Oct. 2 (Xinhua) -- Egyptian business tycoon Naguib Sawiris says China could do more business and investments in Egypt, noting that the most populous Arab country is "the center of the Arab world and the gateway to Africa."
"Chinese are working very well in Africa and they can use Egypt as a business hub where they can later export their projects to and invest in other African countries," the billionaire businessman told Xinhua in a recent exclusive interview during the Egypt's El Gouna Film Festival (GFF).
He noted that Egypt signed all the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) agreements, which should encourage Chinese companies to start more investments in the North African Arab country.
Sawiris is the founder and executive chairman of Orascom Investment Holding. American business magazine Forbes ranked him as the seventh richest man in Africa and the second wealthiest in Egypt after his brother Nassif.
His company holds the legacy of the region's most successful investor focusing on telecoms operations. However, the company, which operated in several countries, recently shifted its focus from telecoms to diversify its investments into other sectors, including energy, real estate, logistics, mining and transportation.
Naguib Sawiris is the eldest of three brothers, who are also billionaires, and is the son of Onsi Sawiris who established the Orascom Group, a giant umbrella group of embracing several companies including Orascom Investment Holding.
As the founder of GFF, Naguib Sawiris told Xinhua that he is a "big fan of Chinese movies."
"I try to watch Chinese movies whenever I get the chance because they give me an idea about the Chinese culture and traditions," he noted.
Speaking about the Egyptian economy, Sawiris said the economy in Egypt is getting well, noting that interest rates in Egypt are now coming down "which will be a big boost for investment."
"We are much better now than we were a few years ago," he emphasized.
On the China-U.S. trade dispute, Sawiris said that it adversely affects not only both countries but also the global economy.
He criticized the U.S. for using "the cowboy mentality" against China, an eastern country, warning that Washington will end up gaining nothing from its current policies.
"What works with eastern mentality is smile, respect and request," he said.