First China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo opens in central China
Released on:2019-06-28 Views:
The first China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo (CAETE) kicked off Thursday in Changsha, central China's Hunan Province, focusing on cooperation in the fields of agriculture, infrastructure, cross-border e-commerce and finance.
CAETE, proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping at the 2018 Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), aims to build a platform for both sides to deepen economic and trade cooperation.
President Xi noted at the opening ceremony of FOCAC that China will implement eight major initiatives with African countries in the next three years and beyond, covering fields such as industrial promotion, infrastructure connectivity, trade facilitation, and green development.
Some 10,000 guests and traders are attending the three-day event that runs from June 27 to 29, including attendees from 53 African countries and representatives from international organizations such as the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, the World Food Programme, and the World Trade Organization.
"Industrial development and free trade among ourselves will foster faster growth for our mutual benefit," said Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni at the opening ceremony. "This Forum should, among others, enable us to devise ways of turning these rays of hope into a reality."
Hailing the long-term friendship with Africa, Chinese Vice Commerce Minister Qian Keming said at the expo that the bilateral trade and economic cooperation should be practical and concrete to meet the development needs of African countries in areas such as infrastructure construction and talent cultivation.
China saw three-percent year-on-year growth of foreign trade with African countries in the first five months this year, hitting 84.8 billion U.S. dollars. China's direct investment to the continent has increased by 1.5 billion U.S. dollars in the past five months, up 20 percent year on year, according to Qian.
According to Assome Aminata Diatta, Senegal's Minister of Trade and SMEs, China is an ideal partner for Africa to upgrade its capacity when China is seeking higher-quality growth driven by innovation.
Bringing modern production lines to Africa, especially in the special economic zones, will likely provide tens of millions of jobs for Africa, accelerate its industrialization and improve the trade structure between China and Africa, Diatta said.
The fair will feature exhibition areas covering over 40,000 square meters, including national pavilions and display areas for enterprises that showcase the achievements and opportunities of China-Africa economic and trade cooperation, according to Xinhua.
A slew of conferences, seminars, forums and exhibitions will be held during the expo, with experts exchanging ideas on closer bilateral ties.