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Africa trade expo to forge closer economic partnership

Time:2019-07-01 18:46wine - Red wine life health Click:

Expo Trade to partnership closer

Africa trade expo to forge closer economic partnership

Justin Yifu Lin, former senior vice president and chief economist at the World Bank, delivers a speech at the China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo in Changsha, central China's Hunan Province, June 27, 2019. [Photo/Xinhua]

The first China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo opened Thursday in Changsha, capital of central China's Hunan Province, in a move to forge closer economic ties between the largest developing country and the largest developing continent.

The three-day event has attracted more than 10,000 guests and traders, including those from 53 African countries, according to the organizing committee.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has sent a congratulatory letter.

The expo, announced at the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) last September, was established to provide a platform for deepening economic and trade cooperation between the two sides, he stressed.

It is hoped that the two sides will strengthen coordination to better implement the eight major initiatives put forward at the Beijing summit of the FOCAC, actively explore new paths for cooperation, open up new points of growth for collaboration, and promote China-Africa economic and trade cooperation to a new level, Xi said.

"Industrial development and free trade amongst ourselves will foster faster growth for our mutual benefit," said Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni at the opening ceremony. "This Forum should, among others, enable us to devise ways of turning these rays of hope into a reality."

Hailing the long-term friendship with Africa, Chinese Vice Commerce Minister Qian Keming said at the expo that bilateral trade and economic cooperation should be practical and concrete to meet the development needs of African countries in areas such as infrastructure and talent cultivation.

China saw 3 percent year-on-year growth of foreign trade with African countries in the first five months this year, hitting 84.8 billion U.S. dollars. China's direct investment to the continent has increased by 1.5 billion U.S. dollars in the past five months, up 20 percent year on year, according to Qian.

According to Assome Aminata Diatta, Senegal's Minister of Trade and SMEs, China is an ideal partner for Africa to improve its capacity building when China is seeking higher-quality growth driven by innovation.

Bringing modern production lines to Africa, especially in the special economic zones, will likely provide tens of millions of jobs for Africa, accelerate its industrialization and improve the trade structure between China and Africa, Diatta said.

China has set a good example for other developing countries, especially those in Africa which, having a lot in common with China, may benefit from mutual complementarity in the area of development, said Justin Yifu Lin, former senior vice president and chief economist at the World Bank.

The experience, wisdom and programs that China will offer are very good reference for African countries that are now eager to work themselves out of poverty and pursue development, Lin said.

After the opening ceremony, 13 cooperation projects involving eight African countries were signed, worth a total of more than 2.5 billion U.S. dollars.

Conferences, seminars, forums and exhibitions focusing on agriculture, trade, investment and infrastructure construction will be held during the expo, with experts sharing views on closer bilateral exchanges.

The expo will feature exhibition areas covering more than 40,000 square meters, including national pavilions and display areas for enterprises that showcase the achievements and opportunities of China-Africa economic and trade cooperation.

Trade and investment

With the theme "Win-Win Cooperation for Closer China-Africa Economic Partnership," the expo, which will become a biennial event, will open a new chapter in the history of bilateral trade.

"Nigeria has a lot of non-oil products of high quality and we want China to buy more," Uduak M. Etokowoh, an official with the Nigerian Export Promotion Council, told Xinhua.

Nigerian gemstones, Namibian oysters, Kenyan coffee and tea as well as South African wine are attracting many Chinese visitors at the expo.

"We used to export leather materials to Italy and Spain, who now have a wobbling economy," said Nigerian businessman Mustapha Tijjani Garo. "We are now looking east for the market."

China has been the largest trading partner of Africa for ten consecutive years. In 2018, trade volume between China and Africa amounted to 204.2 billion U.S. dollars, up 20 percent year on year.

China's imports of non-resource products from Africa have increased significantly. In 2018, China's imports from Africa went up 32 percent year on year, with the imports of agricultural products up 22 percent.


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