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People’s Daily Carries an Article by Mr. Gao Hucheng: Deepen China-Africa Economic Cooperation, and Promote Common Development and Prosperity


Gao Hucheng, China International Trade Representative and Vice Commerce Minister made public his article on People’s Daily on January 27: Deepen China-Africa Economic Cooperation, and Promote Common Development and Prosperity. Full text in English of the article is as follows:

In the beautiful Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, where the headquarters of African Union (AU) is located, the AU Conference Center built with Chinese government’s assistance is to be completed, demonstrating Sino-African friendship and cooperation. It is not only of significance to supporting African countries’ to become stronger by uniting together and promoting integration process, but also signifies achievements of Sino-African practical cooperation.

As the world is undergoing complex changes, world economic downturn is going on, global issues such as food security, energy issue and climate change are more and more serious. Under this background, China and Africa have even more common interests, sharing rare opportunities for development while addressing global challenges. In recent years, the independent development of Africa has made remarkable achievements, and its economy maintained annual 5% growth. What's more important is that, China and Africa are highly complementary to each other in terms of economy, and China's products, technology and managerial experience are suitable for the development of Africa, especially when Africa is in the initial phase of industrialization and urbanization. China would like to join hands with Africa, and share more gains of common development to benefit Chinese and African people.

China, the largest developing country, and Africa, who has the largest number of developing countries, have jointly gone through a path of successful common development, and China-Africa trade and economic cooperation was fruitful. China-Africa trade has maintained fast growth. China has become the largest trading partner of Africa and their trade volume reached US$160 billion in 2011, in comparison with US$12 million in 1950. At the same time, Africa has become one of China's top investment destinations, with China’s investment in Africa exceeding US$40 billion, among which direct investment is US$14.7 billion. More than 2,000 Chinese enterprises are investing in the continent. China has not only helped African nations to build schools, hospitals, bridges and other important projects, but also sent many agricultural experts, medical professionals and volunteers to train nearly 30,000 personnel, becoming one of the most important aid partners of Africa.

China-Africa trade and economic cooperation has been developing fast, which won universal acclaim of the international community, also attracted some misunderstanding and disapproval. We should be aware that as globalization goes on, the development of Africa cannot advance without the engagement of the outside world, and both developed and emerging economies are development partners of Africa. Meanwhile, it should be Africans themselves that make their decisions on development. Outside partners should treat Africa fairly and see Africans' needs as their opportunities to maintain the momentum of cooperation, benefit each other and achieve common development. The major task of the economic and trade cooperation between China and Africa is to help improve Africa's development conditions and enhance its self-development capability.

While increasing aid to Africa, China is also providing preferential loans to African nations to improve the infrastructure and people's livelihoods. China has set up six economic and trade cooperation zones and some development funds in Africa which give impetus to direct investment by China business, and help small and medium-sized local enterprises to start business. The Chinese enterprises that run business in Africa have started to combine their own development closely with the development of the local communities. A China-Africa coming to light initiative, funded by donations of Chinese enterprises has eye operation for more than 1,000 African cataract patients and made them see light, which is a vivid example of Chinese enterprises' commitment to social responsibility.

China will make more efforts to balance its trade with Africa, increase investment in and expand aid to the continent and promote economic integration in Africa to help enhance Africans' capacity for independent development.

To deepen economic and trade cooperation serves not only the development, but also the long-term interests of the two sides.

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