China-Africa cooperation "overladen with fruits"

15:41, November 03, 2009      

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China-Africa cooperation has been very fruitful or substantial with the forging of diplomatic and friendly ties between the Chinese and African nations in the last 50 years or so. Nine years have elapsed since the inception of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in the year 2000, and Sino-African economic and trade ties entered a new era with a comprehensive, rapid and stable development. In early November this year, the fourth FOCAC ministerial meeting is set to take place in Egypt.

How to look at Sino-African cooperation, and how to look at the economic activities of Chinese enterprises in Africa, it is up to the people of China and Africa to have the final say, said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu at a recent news briefing in Beijing. Sino-African friendly and cooperative ties have stood the test of time and the volatile international situation, and such relations comply with the long-term, fundamental interests of the Chinese and Africans and do good for them, the spokesman noted.

At the Beijing Summit of FOCAC held in November 2006, Chinese President Hu Jintao pledged to double China's aid to Africa in three years. China has all along stayed true to its commitment and provided different kinds of aid to Africa since early 2007. By the end of September 2009, it has finished more than 90 percent of it and, by the end of the year, China will have completely fulfilled its promise to African countries.

To date, the Chinese side has helped train a total of 13,757 people for African nations, or 91.7 percent of the professionals China planned to train for them. Eighty-seven Chinese agricultural experts had already reached Africa, while other experts arrived in late October. So, in all, 104 Chinese agricultural experts are now working in 33 African countries.

China promised to set up 10 special agricultural technology demonstration centers in Africa three years ago and, to date, the construction of all these technology demonstration centers has been launched.

Moreover, China pledged to assist African nations in building 30 hospitals, including the provision of medical equipment or facilities for two of them. At present, 16 hospitals are being built, the construction for 10 other hospitals would commence late this year, and pre-construction preparations or designing for the remaining two hospitals are underway.

In face of ongoing global financial crisis, China has kept up its intensity for its investment cooperation with Africa. In fact, its investment in Africa has been on a steady, upbeat rise without any interruption.

Its foreign direct investment (FDI) in Africa reached 55.91 billion US dollars in 2008, of which 5.49 billion dollars went to Africa, as indicated by relevant statistics released by the Chinese Ministry of Commerce. China's FDI in Africa amounted to 875 million dollars in the first three quarters of 2009, posing an increase of 78.6 percent year-on-year. So, Africa is one of the regions with a relatively fast growth for Chinese FDI.

Meanwhile, Africa has become China's second largest engineering contracting market. By late 2008, the country had inked deals with Africa for contract projects worth 126.3 billion dollars and completed the turnover of 68.1 billion dollars. From January to September this year, China finished in Africa the contract engineering business turnover of 17.84 billion dollars, up 41.2 percent year-on-year.

With a sole purpose for a win-win outcome, the Chinese government has always oriented its investment in Africa to the economic development of hosting or recipient nations. In view of agriculture in Africa, it has been developing in a lopsided way with deformity, and the continent has repeatedly suffered from chronic food shortages due to varied historical reasons. Hence, China encourages its enterprises to invest in Agro-business in Africa and to help it raise its overall agricultural production levels. As of the end of 2008, Chinese companies have input more in Africa and helped establish 72 agricultural enterprises, involving a total direct investment of 134 million dollars.

At present, China has undertaken numerous construction projects, including some power stations, highways, bridges and ports, so as to meet the urgent needs for economic development and people's daily needs. And these projects have won acclamation for its reasonable prices, top quality and fast construction speed or speedy delivery. To date, the two billion-dollar-preferential buyer's-credit, which President Hu Jintao had pledged at the Being summit of FOCAC three years ago, has arranged 11 major infrastructure development items across the African continent, such as housing estates, highways, power stations, harbors, ports and telecommunication facilities.

By People's Daily Online
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