Chinese developers to build Egypt's new capital city

Investment brings project closer to its $45 billion (£37 billion) first phase requirement

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The Independent Online

Egypt's new capital city will largely be funded by Chinese state-owned developers after two companies agreed to invest.

The China Fortune Land Development Company (CFLD) said it would provide $20 billion (£16 billion) for the currently unnamed city.

Heads of the firm met with Egyptian president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to agree the deal, CNN reports.

The latest investment follows a previous injection of $15 billion (£12 billion) from another Chinese state-owned company, bringing the project closer to the $45 billion (£37 billion) requirement for its first phase. 

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The project was designed to alleviate congestion and overpopulation in Cairo, which has been the Egyptian capital for over 1,000 years (Reuters)

The project, which will take at least seven years to complete, is designed to alleviate congestion and overpopulation in Cairo, which has been the Egyptian capital for over 1,000 years.

Announcing the plans in March 2015, Egyptian housing minister Mostafa Madbouly called it a source of "pride and inspiration" to young Egyptians. 

The first phase of the program involves the expansion of the outskirts of the current capital to the east, adding an additional 105 kilometres (60 miles) of development.

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A scale model of a planned new capital for Cairo

The area will include a new administrative centre, as yet unnamed, which would consist of government offices, diplomatic missions and housing as well as universities, a technology and innovation park and 10,000km (6,000 miles) of roads. 

Glossy images on the project's website bear a much closer resemblance to Dubai than Cairo.

Construction of the road linking Cairo to the new administrative centre has already begun.

Eventually, the new capital will expand to 700 square km in size (270 square miles), including green spaces for citizens to enjoy, and will link up with the Suez Canal zone.

A number of countries conjured up new capitals in the last century, such as Brasilia in Brazil, which was founded in 1960, Canberra in Australia, founded in 1913, and Astana, which became the administrative centre of Kazakhstan in 1997.

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