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Chinese VP praises relations at China-Africa forum

(Xinhua)

08:07, July 11, 2012

Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping (L) meets with former Ghanaian President John Agyekum Kufuor (R) after the opening ceremony of the Second China-Africa People's Forum in Suzhou, east China's Jiangsu Province, July 10, 2012. Xi Jinping on Tuesday addressed the opening ceremony of the forum. (Xinhua/Huang Jingwen)

SUZHOU, Jiangsu Province, July 10 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping on Tuesday hailed the rapid development of mutually beneficial cooperation between China and Africa.

In a keynote speech delivered at the opening ceremony of the second China-Africa People's Forum, Xi said China and Africa always pursue mutual benefit and common development.

"The respective and mutually complementary comparative advantages of China and Africa have allowed us to seek development together, lending tremendous impetus to our trade and economic cooperation," said Xi.

According to the vice president, China has become the largest trading partner of Africa, and Africa in turn the fourth-largest destination of China's overseas investment.

In 2011, even against the slowdown of world economic growth, the volume of trade between China and Africa still reached a record high of 166.3 billion U.S. dollars, Xi noted.

As of 2011, Chinese direct investment in Africa exceeded 14.7 billion U.S. dollars, with more than 2,000 Chinese-invested businesses operating in the continent, he said.

"These entities have not only created jobs for the local people, but also provided community services," according to Xi.

Both sides have also successfully cooperated in other areas like infrastructure construction, agriculture, healthcare, education and human resource development, he added.

Talking about the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, established 12 years ago as a platform for collective dialogue and a mechanism for cooperation between China and Africa, Xi said the event has now "become a banner guiding our relations and a renowned brand name for our cooperation, propelling our trade and economic relations into a period of steady and rapid growth."

About 300 delegates from China and 35 African states are attending the second China-Africa People's Forum, held on Tuesday and Wednesday in Suzhou, a tourist resort and economic hub in east China.

The first China-Africa People's Forum was held in Nairobi, Kenya, last year.

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