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China Africa Economic and Trade Cooperation Achieves Abundant Results

2023-06-27 | Xinhua

On June 13th, the State Council Information Office of the People's Republic of China held a press conference in Beijing for the Third China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo (CAETE). Excerpts of answers to reporters' questions of Li Fei, vice-minister of commerce, Zhou Haibing, vice governor of the People's Government of Hunan Province, Jiang Wei, director general of the West Asia and Africa Department of the Ministry of Commerce, Shen Yumou, director general of the Department of Commerce of Hunan Province.


 The scene of press conference for the Third China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo (CAETE). [Photo by Fu Cong / Hunan Daily]

China remains Africa's top trading partner

Q: This year is the 10th anniversary of the "Belt and Road" initiative. In the past ten years, under the strategic leadership of Chinese and African leaders, what fruitful results have been achieved in China-Africa economic and trade cooperation?

A: The scale of cooperation has been expanding. The total trade volume between China and Africa has exceeded US$2 trillion, and China has always maintained its position as Africa's largest trading partner. Chinese enterprises have signed new contracts for construction projects in Africa amounting to over US$700 billion, with a completed turnover of over US$400 billion. China's direct investment flows to Africa have exceeded US$30 billion, making it the fourth largest source of investment in Africa. China has dispatched about 9,000 medical personnel to African countries and provided more than 100,000 training places, and a number of infrastructure and social and livelihood projects have been completed one after another.

The areas of cooperation have become more diversified. The fields of China-Africa economic and trade cooperation have been extended from traditional trade and engineering construction to new fields such as digital, green, aerospace and finance. Chinese enterprises have actively participated in the construction of digital infrastructure in Africa and promoted the rapid development of e-commerce, mobile payment, media and entertainment industries in Africa. China has signed civil air transport agreements with 27 African countries and successfully built and launched communication and meteorological satellites for Algeria, Nigeria and other countries. 

The mechanism of cooperation is getting better and better. China has signed "the Belt and Road" cooperation documents with 52 African countries and the African Union Commission. China actively supports the construction of African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), and has set up an expert group on economic cooperation with AfCFTA secretariat to carry out in-depth policy exchanges and experience sharing on trade and investment facilitation between China and Africa. 

CAETE is an important mechanism for China-Africa economic and trade cooperation and an important window for local economic and trade cooperation with Africa. It is important for China to promote a high level of opening up and build a new development pattern. It is necessary to further polish the brand, enhance the effectiveness and expand the impact of CAETE, promote the high-quality development of China-Africa economic and trade cooperation, and build a high-level China-Africa community.

"Nine programs" of China-Africa cooperation

Q: At the Eighth Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), China announced the implementation of "nine projects", what is the progress ?

A: The "Nine Projects" are the main line of China's cooperation with Africa and the top priority of China-Africa economic and trade cooperation in the current and future period. This year is the key year to promote the implementation of the "Nine Projects". 

Under the Health Projects, China's covid-19 vaccine has taken the lead in benefiting African countries, with localized production cooperation in Egypt, Algeria, Morocco and other countries. The Chinese-aided Africa CDC headquarters has been completed, and Chinese medical teams in Africa have treated more than 1.46 million patients. 

Under the Poverty Reduction and Agricultural Project, China has actively provided food aid to African countries in need, and has launched the construction of 13 Africa demonstration villages that support agricultural development and poverty reductioni, and the China Corporate social responsibility (CSR) in Africa has promoted the implementation of hundreds of social responsibility projects in 44 African countries. 

Under the Trade Promotion Project, 16 agricultural products from 11 African countries have gained access to China under the "green channel", and 21 African countries have enjoyed zero tariff for 98% of their products exported to China.

Under the Investment-driven Project, China has increased its direct investment in Africa by more than US$5 billion, China has provided more than US$4 billion credit lines to African financial institutions, and the platform for China-Africa private sector investment promotion and the China-Africa Cross-border RMB Center have been officially established. 

Under the Digital Innovation Project, China has started the preparation for the establishment of the centers for China-Africa cooperation on satellite remote-sensing application, and the First China-Africa BDS Cooperation Forum and the first China-Africa Innovation Cooperation Conference were successfully held. Under the Green Development Project, the China-Africa Geosciences Cooperation Center was officially launched, the China-Africa Green Innovation Program was started, and a number of renewable energy projects constructed by Chinese enterprises, such as the Zungeru hydroelectric project in Nigeria and the Sakai solar power plant in Central African Republicthe, are progressing smoothly. 

Under the Capacity Building Project, the "Future of Africa, China-Africa Vocational Education Cooperation Program" continues to promote, and 14 vocational colleges and universities in 7 provinces and cities in China have formed partnership with 13 universities and vocational colleges in 11 African countries. 2022, China will create nearly 300,000 jobs in Africa. In addition, China-Africa cooperation in humanistic exchanges, peace and security has also made positive progress.

More than 3,000 Chinese enterprises invested in Africa

Q: In recent years, China-Africa investment cooperation has been deepening, what is the overall situation of China's investment in Africa?

A: In recent years, China-Africa investment cooperation has made great progress. in 2022, China added $3.4 billion in direct investment to Africa, and the stock of Chinese direct investment in Africa exceeded $47 billion by the end of 2022. China is the fourth largest source of investment in Africa, and there are currently more than 3,000 Chinese enterprises investing in Africa. 

The Investment areas are constantly broadening. It covers construction, mineral, manufacturing, technology, wholesale and retail, agriculture, real estate, finance, e-commerce and other industries. 

The investment methods are more diverse and flexible. In addition to greenfield investment, equity participation and mergers and acquisitions are gradually increasing. 

The main investors is becoming diversified. Private enterprises account for more than 70% of Chinese enterprises in Africa and have become the main force of Chinese investment in Africa.

The investment platform is gradually upgraded, the driving role of Chinese enterprises in Africa's economic and trade cooperation zones is continuously enhanced, and the industrial agglomeration effect continues to appear.

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Translated by Chen Xiao