Chinese Embassy in Egypt on Thursday opened a Chinese visa application centre in the coastal city of Alexandria due to the increasing number of applicants for visas to China.

“In order to provide better and more convenient services to Egyptian citizens, the visa application service centre in Alexandria has been established after another one has been operated in Cairo in December,” said Zhao Liying, Consul General of China in Alexandria.

In 2018, more than 11,000 Egyptian citizens applied for visa to China from the Chinese Consulate General in Alexandria, with nearly 20 percent year-on-year increase, Zhao said after the inauguration ceremony of the centre.

She expected the number of applicants to continue to increase in 2019.

The Chinese diplomat said the choice of Alexandria was based on its importance as Egypt’s largest port and the second largest city.

“The operation of the new centre will provide better visa services, attract more Egyptians to study and travel in China, promote the personnel exchanges and mutual visits in light of the Belt and Road Initiative,” she added.

In recent years, the political mutual trust between the two countries has been enhanced, Zhao said, adding that people to people exchanges have become more active and the number of Egyptians applying for Chinese visa has been increasing year by year.

Zhao stressed China welcomes more Egyptian people to visit the Asian country to learn more, see its fast development and to explore win-win cooperation.

Meanwhile, Ahmad Gamal, deputy to the governor of Alexandria, lauded “the inauguration of the visa service as the harvest of strong and historic ties between the two countries, especially in the coastal city of Alexandria.”

The centre signals the nonstop development between the two countries, he said.

Chen Jian, Consular Counsellor of the Chinese Embassy in Egypt said that last year, 500,000 Chinese tourists visited Egypt and nearly 90,000 Egyptian tourists visited China.

In light of developing the comprehensive partnership ties, especially the advancement of the trade, cultural and economic ties, the individual movement will expand continuously, he stressed.