China will announce a package of measures covering aid, investment, trade and
social development for African countries during the weekend Beijing Summit of
the Forum on China-Africa Co-operation (FOCAC).
Vice-Commerce Minister Wei Jianguo made the remarks yesterday at the closing
ceremony of the Senior Officials Meeting of FOCAC.
The programme aims to "deepen
mutually beneficial co-operation and realize common development," Wei said.
Chinese President Hu Jintao (L) and Seychellois
President James Alix Michel review a honor guard during a welcome ceremony
at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing Thursday, Nov. 2, 2006. James
Alix Michel is in Beijing for a state visit to China and the Beijing
Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), which is
scheduled for Nov. 4-5. [Xinhua]
Under the FOCAC framework, China has already taken a series measures
including debt relief, tariff exemptions and personnel training to push
China-Africa partnership to a new level, according to Wei, also sectary-general
of the summit's organizing committee.
From 2000 to 2005, trade between China and Africa saw a rise of 30 per cent
each year while keeping to the objective of striking a balance. From January to
September, bilateral trade amounted to US$40.56 billion and is expected to
exceed US$50 billion for the whole year.
During the period, China waived debt of 10.9 billion yuan (US$1.38 billion)
owed by 31 African countries and extended zero-tariff treatment to selected
It also helped establish 900 projects and trained more than 1,460
professionals in various specialities.
FOCAC is a mechanism for dialogue and co-operation set up in 2000 to cope
with new challenges and facilitate common development.
The summit, which will open tomorrow with the participation of heads of state
or government from 48 African countries, is expected to come up with two
milestone documents a declaration of the Beijing Summit and the Beijing Action
The two-day meeting of senior officials endorsed the draft documents.
"We have reviewed all aspects of our co-operation including infrastructure,
health, education and trade. They can be easily adapted and presented to the
leaders at the summit," Haile-Kiros Gessesse, a special envoy of Ethiopia, the
co-chair country for FOCAC, told China Daily.
"The Beijing Declaration will aim to establish a new type of strategic
partnership between China and Africa based on equality, mutual trust, economic
win-win co-operation and cultural exchanges," said Gessesse.
Others shared Gessesse's views, describing the senior officials' meeting as
successful prelude to the summit.