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China eyes more African business during summit

30 November 2015, 19:01

Nairobi - The landmark Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) Summit to be held in South Africa from Dec. 4-5 will not only set the next agenda for Sino-Africa bilateral ties, but also strengthen partnership in new areas that would unleash mutual benefits, Chinese Ambassador to Kenya Liu Xianfa said Sunday.

Liu said in a commentary published by a local daily that the upcoming China-Africa summit will be a watershed moment for both allies as they chart a new cooperation agenda that is broad and mutually beneficial.

Chinese President Xi Jinping and dozens of African leaders will attend the summit to be held for the first time in the African continent. Liu noted the grand summit has historical significance to both China and bilateral partners in Africa.

"State leaders from China and Africa will jointly discuss measures to strengthen the linkage of China-Africa development strategies, and industrial capacity cooperation," said Liu, adding that the theme of the summit "Africa-China Progressing Together: Win-Win Cooperation for Common Development" is a confirmation both allies share the same aspirations.

Since the inception of FOCAC in 2000, the Sino-Africa bilateral cooperation in many fields has blossomed thanks to goodwill and sincerity from both sides.

Liu noted that Sino-Africa trade has grown tremendously while partnership in key areas likes infrastructure development, industry, technology and people to people exchanges has flourished.

"Statistics indicate that in 2014, trade between China and Africa exceeded 220 billion U.S. dollars and China's investment stock in Africa surpassed 30 billion dollars," Liu remarked.

Beijing is currently the leading source of foreign direct investments that have fueled Africa's economic renaissance. Liu noted investments by Chinese firms in Africa have helped alleviate the continent's endemic challenges like poverty and unemployment.

"Chinese companies have invested in various fields such as finance, telecommunication, energy, manufacturing and agriculture, thus creating more than 100,000 local jobs," said the envoy.

China has provided finance and technical skills to help bridge Africa's infrastructure deficit. Liu noted that by September, an estimated 5,675 kilometers of railways and 4506.9 kilometers of roads were either built or under construction across Africa thanks to China's financial support.

Sino-Africa bilateral cooperation has flourished in other critical areas like health, agriculture, arts and culture. Likewise, China has actively participated in conflict resolution and environmental protection in Sub-Saharan Africa.

According to Liu, China has dispatched the largest number of peacekeeping troops in African hotspots while extending significant assistance to help build new schools and hospitals.

"China also took the lead in helping Africa fight Ebola epidemic and was involved in research for new anti-malarial medicines," he said.

The upcoming FOCAC summit will provide a platform for political leaders, policymakers and scholars from both China and Africa to explore initiatives that would revitalize a longstanding partnership.

Liu noted that China and its African allies share a common past and destiny, adding that the FOCAC summit will endorse new measures to accelerate socio-economic transformation in Africa.

"China is willing to establish three development systems in Africa that promote the processing and manufacturing industry, food security and public health," said Liu. "China will leverage the advantages of China-Africa political mutual trust and economic complementarity to help break Africa's twin development bottlenecks of inadequate infrastructure and human resources." 

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- Xinhua


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