CAIRO, Dec. 2 (Xinhua) -- Egyptian and Chinese scientific research institutions have signed a memorandum of understanding to establish a joint laboratory for smart agriculture, the Chinese Embassy in Egypt said in a statement on Wednesday.
The agreement, which calls for establishing a joint lab for smart agriculture cooperation, as well as executing important cooperative research projects, holding scientific seminars and conferences, and exchanging visits of professors, lecturers, and students between Egypt and China, was signed between Egypt's National Authority for Remote Sensing and Space Sciences (NARSS), which belongs to the country's Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, and China's Institute of Agricultural Resources and Regional Planning (IARRP) of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS), said the Chinese embassy.
The signing ceremony was witnessed by Egyptian Deputy Minister of Higher Education for Scientific Research Affairs Yasser Refaat, NARSS Chairman Mohamed Bayoumi Zahran and Chinese Ambassador to Egypt Liao Liqiang.
The agreement was signed following an NARSS meeting headed by Egyptian Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research Khaled Abdel-Ghaffar.
Abdel-Ghaffar highlighted the importance of the agreement for the strategic partnership between Egypt and China in the field of smart agriculture, noting the depth of relations between the two countries, especially in the fields of higher education and scientific research.
The agreement comes as Egypt and China are marking the 65th anniversary of the establishment of their diplomatic relations, the Egyptian minister pointed out, stressing Egypt's keenness to continue to strengthen its strategic partnership with China.
The Chinese ambassador Liao Liqiang said Egypt is a key strategic partner for China in many fields including remote sensing and space sciences, highlighting the expanding cooperation between Beijing and Cairo under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which aims for common development and win-win partnerships.
The newly signed agreement will open horizons for Chinese and Egyptian researchers to collaborate on smart agriculture, desertification and the cultivation of salt-tolerant crops, Liao added.
The joint smart agriculture lab will be the second to be established in Egypt under the BRI umbrella, after the Chinese-Egyptian Renewable Energy Laboratory.