Is the BRICS about to become the E-BRICS, where E for Egypt? China’s Global Times floats the idea in an article entitled, "Could Egypt Become the Next Member of the BRICS?" published on Sept. 14, it is co-authored by He Wenping, a senior research fellow at the Charhar Institute in China, and Hisham Abu Bakr Metwally, the first economist researcher at the Central Department for Export & Import Policy under the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Trade and Industry.
The article reviews the growing importance of Africa for the BRICS, pointing out that Egypt was chosen by China as an observer to take part in the Sept. 3-5 BRICS summit in Xiamen, and that
"Egypt is a large and central country in the Middle East and Africa, giving it an advantageous geographical location, and Egypt also has huge human capacity," the authors write.
"It is one of the largest markets in Africa with a population of 93 million. The economy is gradually improving, with annual rates of GDP growth reaching 4.3% in 2015/2016."
They point out the Egypt’s volume of trade with the "BRICS bloc was nearly $20 billion during 2016. Egypt recently signed a memo of understanding with China worth about $739 million for an electric railway line. The two countries have also signed an agreement for Egypt’s second satellite—'EgyptSat-2’—with a Chinese grant of 300 million yuan ($45 million).
"Egypt also has long-standing economic relations with [BRICS member] India, and has various investments in the country....
"The BRICS bloc is well aware of the importance of Egypt and its potential. This is evident in the large number of invitations received by Egypt to attend the meetings of the BRICS as well as the intensity of meetings and the depth of relations between Egypt and all the countries of the BRICS.
"We are hoping the BRICS will one day become the E-BRICS, where E stands for Egypt."
Source: Executive Intelligence Review