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China helps Africa accomplish much-needed development

---China has engaged in a lot of projects to help Africa accomplish its much-needed development.

Zeng Aiping, a Chinese expert in Sino-African relations, said this to Xinhuanet recently, ahead of the 2018 Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC).

China has a faithful desire to transfer its development experience to the African partners to help them surmount their problems, he noted.

Zeng expected Africa to emerge as a competitive market in future because a large number of African countries have made major strides in many fields.

Africa, a wealthy continent of natural and human resources as well as unique geographical location, is moving now on the right track, he said.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Africa's gross domestic product (GDP) is projected to grow at an average rate of 5.0 percent per year from 2018 to 2040.

Putting development at the agenda top, some countries such as Rwanda, Senegal, and Kenya have achieved a high rate of growth, according to Zeng.

In years, China gave a fillip to the southern and eastern parts of the continent and it is now paying more attention to the other parts, he said.

China has done a great deal in promoting cooperation with Africa by launching infrastructure and development projects.

Under the flagship Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), China helped accomplished last year Kenya's first high-speed railway from the capital Nairobi to port city of Mombasa.

There are plans to extend this network into South Sudan, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi to spread its benefit, he added.

China is also helping with the 10-billion-dollar projects: a mega port and an economic zone in Bagamoyo in Tanzania.

In north, he went on, "The Suez Canal project, which will include a mega industrial zone, logistic services, and road networks linking Suez Canal area to the other parts of Egypt’s governorates, will play an important role in BRI and also will enhance the ties between Egypt and China.” Zeng said BRI would continue to boost the trade volume between Africa and China and increase in many aspects of cooperation between them.

On the coming FOCAC, he said,“I think the FOCAC next month will focus on Johannesburg’s agenda of FOCAC in 2015 and BRI.”

He added BRI will lead to the increase of trade ties between the two sides by sharing investment, finance and development.

The China-Africa production capacity fund with an initial capital of 10 billion dollars established In the 2015 FOCAC summit has played a major role, he said.

Zeng stressed the importance for Africa to attract foreign investments, saying China will not give up its conviction on helping the African partners.

On the western economic policy in Africa, the Chinese specialist said: “Some Western countries impose certain conditions to support the Africans."

"But China only pays attention to economic development, to invest in the continent and that, in turn, will serve the public interest and humanity as whole," he said.

He added the world’s largest exporter opens its market to Africa, adding the Shanghai Import and Export Exhibition in November will be a great opportunity to display African products.

Zeng revealed that almost 90 percent of African products enter the Chinese market without custom duties to reduce trade imbalance.

He also affirmed that China opens its market not only for Africa but also for all parts of the world.

China underlines a policy of win-win cooperation with Africa in many fora, and pushes Africa, which depends heavily on exporting raw material and oil, to diversify its economy and improve investment environment.

Zeng highlighted the necessity of accelerating the integration of Africa’s market by removing restrictions on trade to facilitate the flow of business among the countries.

(Source: Xinhua)



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