Trade exchange between China, African states hits $170 bln in 2017, Chinese official tells MENA
original source: Ahramonline
Trade exchange between China and African states increased 14 percent year-on-year in 2017, registering $170 billion, minister counsellor for economic affairs at the Chinese embassy in Cairo Han Bing said on Saturday.
In statements to MENA, Han revealed that Chinese investments in Africa recorded $3.1 billion in 2017.
China sees major opportunities for the expansion of economic cooperation with African countries in fields such as agriculture, investment, energy and natural resources, he said.
The Chinese official said that Beijing intends to carry out several projects in African countries, including a modern agriculture centre and another one for ocean research.
He also unveiled plans to foster cooperation among Chinese and African banks.
Han also said that his country will host the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), which will include a ministerial conference on 1 and 2 September, and then another meeting at the level of Chinese and African heads of state on 3 and 4 September.
He added that a business forum and a roundtable are set to be held on the sidelines of the forum, with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres delivering a speech at the inaugural session.
FOCAC aims to bolster cooperation between Beijing and African states at the political, economic and cultural levels, to maintain security and stability as well as promote anti-terrorism efforts, Han said.
Chinese State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said at a press briefing in Beijing on Wednesday that the 2018 FOCAC summit aims to build a stronger community with a shared future between China and Africa.
"First, the summit will make a renewed call for a stronger community with a shared future between China and Africa," Wang said.
"Second, the forum will usher in a new era for the Belt and Road Initiative and Africa's development, and China will engage with Africa in equal consultation, planning together, working together and benefiting together," Wang stressed.
The summit will connect the Belt and Road Initiative with Agenda 2063 of the African Union and the UN 2030 Agenda on sustainable development, he noted.
The foreign minister also vowed that the summit will push cooperation between China and Africa to a new high level.
"During the summit, we will adopt the Beijing Declaration and the Beijing Action Plan, a number of bilateral cooperation agreements will also be signed, which will give a plan for Chinese and African cooperation in the next three years and beyond," Wang said.