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Xi participates in BRICS Leaders-Africa Dialogue Forum

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-03-28 10:28

DURBAN, South Africa -- Chinese President Xi Jinping and leaders of the other major emerging economies met a group of African leaders in Durban, South Africa, Wednesday to discuss cooperation between the BRICS nations and Africa.

Leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, collectively known as BRICS, and African countries exchanged views under the theme "Unlocking Africa's potential: BRICS and Africa cooperation on infrastructure."

At the meeting, the Chinese president stressed that the dialogue between leaders of BRICS and African countries reflected the political will of both sides to realize equality and inclusiveness and seek common development.

Xi said the world cannot enjoy stability and prosperity without the peace and development of Africa and international affairs cannot be properly dealt with without Africa's participation, adding that the global governance system would lose vitality without Africa's saying.

BRICS and African countries are like-minded friends with extensive common interests, he said, noting that the rising of Africa brings opportunities to BRICS countries, likewise, the development of BRICS countries brings opportunities to the continent.

"The 21th century would sure be a century of rising for Africa," Xi said.

Cooperation among the countries' 4 billion people will help to make the world economy more balanced, the international relations more democratic and the foundation for world peace and development more solid, he said.

Xi expressed China's support for BRICS countries to build partnerships with Africa, saying the relationships should be based on equality and democracy, and should be strategic and down-to-earth.

BRICS countries should see infrastructure construction in Africa as top priority for international cooperation, promote financial cooperation with Africa and follow the concept of sustainable development, he said.

Xi said the Chinese government is willing to form a cooperative partnership for transnational and trans-regional infrastructure, and help the African nations with the preliminary work of promoting connectivity and resource surveys, which includes consultation, planning, feasibility research and project design.

Every year, China would also help Africa to train 300 managing and technical personnel specialized in the field of infrastructure, he said.

The Chinese president also said that China would, via such ways as financing, investment, assistance and cooperation, encourage Chinese enterprises and financial institutions to play a part in the construction and management of the transnational and trans-regional infrastructure.

The Chinese government has promised to give zero-tariff treatment to 97 percent of the tariff items of exports to China from the least developed nations having diplomatic ties with China, he added.

Other leaders of the BRICS nations said the BRICS countries would like to forge a cooperative partnership with Africa, and provide assistance in such sectors as infrastructure so as to promote inclusive and sustainable development in the continent.

The African leaders said the African economy, over the years, have maintained constant and relatively fast growth, and the continent is full of hope.

They also said that Africa needs to strengthen its infrastructure, promote integration and industrialization, and lift over-all competitiveness and capacity for sustainable development.

The African nations are willing to set up with the BRICS members a cooperative partnership, which highlights mutual support, mutual benefit and win-win results between emerging economies and developing nations, said the leaders.

The African countries are grateful for China's long-term help to the continent, they said, adding that they hoped to step up their cooperation with China.

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