White Paper with Africa on Economic Co-op Unveiled

Original source: Xinhua

The Chinese government Thursday [Dec. 23] released a white paper on China-Africa economic and trade cooperation, highlighting achievements and a bright future for China and African countries to boost their growth.

It was China’s first-ever white paper on its economic and trade cooperation with Africa.

“Practice proves that China-Africa economic and trade cooperation serves the common interests of the two sides, helps Africa to reach the UN Millennium Development Goals, and boosts common prosperity and progress for China and Africa,” said the white paper.

The 29-page white paper, released by the State Council Information Office, introduced facts of trade development, investment expansion, infrastructure construction collaboration and other fields of cooperation between China and Africa.

China-Africa economic and trade cooperation plays a significant role in promoting the establishment of a fair and rational new international political and economic order, according to the white paper.

The white paper said the China-Africa economic and trade cooperation was now “on a new historical starting point” with the revitalized development of trade, investment, infrastructure and capacity building, along with gradually expanding cooperation in finance and tourism between both sides.

“China would like to work with other countries and international organizations to enhance consultation and coordination with African countries, participate in the construction of Africa, and jointly promote peace, development and progress in Africa,” it said.

Further, China pledged in the white paper to promote China-Africa economic exchanges within bilateral or multilateral frameworks, and broaden the scope of cooperation with African countries on the principles of equality, mutual benefit and common development.

China and Africa enjoy complementarity with expanding common interests and a bright future of their economic and trade cooperation, the white paper said.

According to the white paper, the scale of China-Africa trade has expanded rapidly in recent years and China has become Africa’s largest trade partner after six decades of development.

China-Africa bilateral trade volume was only $12.14 million in 1950 and it jumped to $114.81 billion from January to November in 2010, up 43.5 percent year on year.

The white paper said China has been promoting trade facilitation and China-Africa trade for years on the principle of mutual benefit and reciprocity.

The China-Africa trade has great potential as China and Africa are both in the process of industrialization and urbanization, which means great market demands for both sides, it said.

As for mutual investment, the white paper said China’s investment in Africa has been growing rapidly since 2000, driven by the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), while a number of African enterprises are growing their business fast in the Chinese market.

According to the white paper, the Chinese government encourages and supports Chinese enterprises with strength and good reputation to expand their investment in Africa, and has adopted necessary measures to guide them in this respect.

Cooperation in resource development is a significant part of China-Africa investment cooperation as African countries possess rich resources, said the white paper.

It noted Chinese enterprises adopt open, transparent and multiform ways of cooperation to jointly exploit and utilize resources with African countries and international enterprises against monopoly and exclusiveness.

China encourages and supports its enterprises to participate in the infrastructure construction of African countries, it added.

The white paper elaborated China’s assistance to Africa in helping the continent to improve people’s lives.

“China shows great concern for the livelihood of African people,” it said, detailing China’s efforts to help African countries to build public facilities, increase agricultural production, improve medical care and public health service, reduce debts, and provide disaster relief and humanitarian aid.

The white paper said new areas of China-Africa cooperation, such as banking, tourism, civil aviation and environmental protection, have shown good momentum for development in recent years.

“China and African nations have strengthened cooperation and mutual support in many areas of global concern, including actions to address climate change,” said the white paper.

Hailing the FOCAC for its guiding role in China-Africa economic relations, the white paper said the Chinese government will work together with African countries to strengthen their economic and trade cooperation within the FOCAC framework in the future.

Such cooperation will be based on mutual benefit and progress, friendly consultation, pragmatism and high efficiency, which will also guide the development of a new-type of China-Africa strategic partnership.

Founded in 2000 by China and Africa, the FOCAC has formed dialogue and cooperation mechanisms at various levels such as ministerial conferences, senior official meetings and entrepreneurs’ conferences.

So far, four ministerial conferences and a summit have been held within the FOCAC framework.

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