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Guangdong to expand cooperation with Africa

By Qiu Quanlin in Guangzhou | China Daily | Updated: 2024-07-10 09:36
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Guangdong province will expand cooperation with African countries within the framework of China-Africa cooperation, according to a top government official.

"Enterprises in industries including electronic information, light industry and textiles, building materials and home furnishings, automobiles and household appliances will be guided to expand their sales networks in Africa, to deepen economic and trade investment cooperation with their African counterparts," said Wang Weizhong, governor of Guangdong.

Wang was speaking during the 5th Forum on China-Africa Local Government Cooperation, which was held in Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong, on Tuesday.

The forum, held once every three years, was initiated by the Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries in 2012, aiming to build a platform for practical cooperation between local governments in China and Africa.

"We will import high-quality products from African countries to continually expand the scale of trade between both sides," Wang said.

African businesses have also been keen to participate in large international exhibitions such as the China Import and Export Fair, or Canton Fair, which is held twice a year in Guangzhou, he said.

Citing electronics, information technology and mobile phones in Shenzhen and Dongguan, home furnishings in Foshan, lighting products in Zhongshan and motorcycles in Jiangmen — all products popular in Africa — Wang said Guangdong has become one of the provinces and regions with the closest industrial ties and most solid foundations for economic and trade cooperation with Africa.

According to the Ministry of Commerce, trade volume between China and Africa exceeded $280 billion last year, a record high, and China has been Africa's top trading partner for 15 years.

"We will encourage more manufacturing enterprises to settle in overseas cooperation zones established in Africa by Guangdong, promoting cooperation in agricultural planting and processing, agricultural technology, and other areas, and supporting Africa in achieving industrialization and the transformation and upgrading of agriculture," Wang said.

Guangdong will also deepen infrastructure cooperation and connectivity with African countries, by leveraging the advantages of digital technology to support enterprises participating in projects related to African communication networks, data centers, smart cities and other fields.

"We will support the establishment of friendly relations between relevant ports on both sides, increase maritime routes and promote the expansion of more air routes from Guangdong to Africa," Wang said.

Ports in Guangdong are among the busiest entry points for African visitors to China, with Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport operating 50 weekly flights to and from Africa, and Shenzhen Airport having 12 flights.

With the theme "Working Together for a High-level China-Africa Community with a Shared Future", the one-day forum featured discussions about industrial cooperation, green innovation and talent cultivation.

Through the joint efforts of local governments in China and Africa, the number of sister cities between the two sides has reached 166 pairs, playing a unique role in promoting cooperation and enhancing the friendship between the peoples of China and Africa, according to Yang Wanming, president of the Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries.

Liaoning province and Uganda's Busoga district have agreed to sign a memorandum of understanding to establish friendly relations. Foshan in Guangdong and Sambava in Madagascar have agreed to sign an intent to strengthen friendly exchanges and cooperation.

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