By Hisham Ibrahim & Sanaa Allam

Egypt’s volume of trade with the five-nation BRICS grouping had neared $20 billion during 2016, according to Egyptian Industry Minister Tarek Qabil.

The BRICS acronym stands for the names of five large developing economies, Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.

China has invited Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to take part in the BRICS Summit, a step that emphasises Egypt’s economic strength regionally and globally, Minister Qabil added in a statement on Friday.

Egypt seeks to strengthen relations with the BRICS member states at the commercial and investment levels, he said.

Under the theme of “BRICS: Stronger Partnership for a Brighter Future”, the summit is being held in Chinese city of Xiamen on September 3-5. The leaders of the five countries have been holding annual summits since 2009.

Cairo and Beijing are set to sign a number of agreements during President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi’s current visit to China for the BRICS summit.

Egypt has already signed on Tuesday a memo of understanding with China worth about $739 million for an electric train to a new capital the north African country is building. The two countries have also signed an agreement for Egypt’s second satellite “Egypt Sat 2” with a Chinese grant of 300 million yuans ($45 million).

China is establishing the electric train with 11 stops, and providing the wagons with a $740 million loan, to be repaid throughout 15 years, with a grace period of five years, MENA reported on Sunday.

© Amwal Alghad 2017