China to announce new policies to boost cooperation with Africa

2009-11-05 12:05 BJT

BEIJING, Nov. 2 (Xinhua) -- China will announce further measures to promote substantial cooperation with Africa at the upcoming meeting between China and African nations, Vice Minister of Commerce Chen Jian said on Monday.

"China will further promote cooperation with African nations on agriculture, food security, infrastructure, trade, investment and public health," said Chen at a briefing ahead of the fourth ministerial meeting of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation(FOCAC).

The meeting will review how the consensus of Beijing Summit has been implemented and chart the path of practical cooperation for the next three years, said Chen.

The FOCAC Beijing Summit was held in November 2006. Eight measures covering trade, investment, and personnel exchanges were announced by the Chinese government to enhance cooperation with Africa during the meeting. Chen said all of the measures had been fully implemented.

Chen said, China's 2009 assistance to Africa would double the figure of 2006, zero-tariff treatment and debt-relief measures to African nations have been implemented, and China-African Development Fund has been put into operation.

China-Africa trade volume reached 106.8 billion US dollars in 2008, twice the figure of 2006. China has also opened its market wider to Africa by granting zero-tariff treatment to commodities imported from the least developed countries.

China's total direct investment to Africa reached 7.8 billion US dollars by the end of 2008. The figure of the first nine months in 2009 was 875 million US dollars, up by 77.5% year on year, while the country's overall outbound investment nose-dived.

In infrastructure, China has provided interest-free loans, preferential loans, preferential export buyer's credit and commercial loans in support of local infrastructure.

China has helped in nearly 900 projects, half of which are related to people's well-being. It also helped train more than 30,000 personals, send 350,000 technicians and 17,000 medical staff to Africa. China also exempted 35 African countries from its debt, in total or in part.

"China's aid to Africa is based on Africa's needs, without imposing any political pre-conditions. It aims to help develop infrastructure, improve agricultural production, medical services and education which are related to local people's well-being." said Chen.

The fourth ministerial meeting of the FOCAC will be held in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh on Nov.8. Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao will attend the opening ceremony. Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi and Commerce Minister Chen Deming will lead a delegation to attend the meeting.

Editor: Liu Anqi | Source: Xinhua