China committed to assisting Africa in agriculture, infrastructure: minister

08:38, November 10, 2009      

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The Chinese government is committed to assisting African countries in improving their agricultural production and infrastructure and promoting socioeconomic development through the provision of preferential credit, said Chinese Commerce Minister Chen Deming in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh Monday.

"Thanks to our concerted efforts, China-Africa cooperation in agriculture and infrastructure has experienced leaps and bounds over the years," Chen said on the second day of the fourth Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC).

"Such cooperation has diversified in forms, increased in size and moved to high levels," Chen added.

The Chinese minister of commerce said China will continue to pursue the agenda of "friendship, cooperation and development" with African countries by advancing bilateral trade and commerce and by contributing to agricultural development, food security and infrastructure building in Africa on the basis of mutual benefits and win-win principle.

Chen proposed four points to promote cooperation between China and African countries in the future.

First, improving Africa's capacity for agricultural production. "In the next three years, China will organize 50 groups of agricultural experts to Africa for transferring and disseminating agro-technology and for putting into place a system of agro-technology promotion among African countries," he said.

Second, actively pursuing an innovative model of China-Africa agricultural cooperation. He said that China will continue to encourage competent and reputable agro-businesses to invest in Africa, and transfer and deploy China's technology and managerial expertise in agriculture.

Third, enhancing cooperation in infrastructure building. The minister said "China continues to identify infrastructure as a priority for China-Africa cooperation and will intensify investments in infrastructure projects across Africa."

Fourth, creating platforms for the cooperation of Chinese and African businesses. Chen noted that "Business is on the forefront of deepening China-Africa cooperation in agriculture and infrastructure. The governments of China and Africa should work closely and make good policies, but more importantly, leave businesses to the laws of the market."

The fourth FOCAC ministerial meeting opened in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh on Sunday.

The main agenda of the conference is to review the implementation of the follow-up activities of the FOCAC Beijing Summit and the third ministerial conference and explore new initiatives and measures on Sino-African cooperation in priority areas such as human resources development, agriculture, infrastructure development, investment and trade.

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