China to provide US$5b in loans and credits to Africa
Updated: 2006-11-04 14:52

China will provide US$3 billion of preferential loans and US$2 billion of preferential buyer's credits to Africa in the coming three years, President Hu Jintao said in Beijing Saturday while addressing the opening ceremony of the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation.

"Common development is the shared aspiration of the Chinese and African peoples," he told an audience of 41 African heads of state or government, senior officials from 48 African countries and delegates from international organizations.

"We are committed to pursuing mutually beneficial cooperation to bring the benefits of development to our peoples," he said.

The two-day summit, which focuses on "friendship, peace, cooperation and development", has been widely acclaimed as the most important and largest meeting between China and African leaders since the People's Republic was founded in 1949.

As the world's fourth largest economy, China has doubled its support for the heavily indebted poor countries and least developed countries in recent years.

In an African policy paper released early this year, the Chinese government pledged to support and facilitate corporate investment in Africa with preferential loans and buyer's credit.

At last year's high-level meeting on Financing for Development at the UN Summit, Hu said China will provide US$10 billion in concessional loans and preferential export buyer's credit to the developing countries, African countries in particular, in the coming three years to improve their infrastructure and promote cooperation between businesses from the two sides.

Hu also told the ongoing Beijing Summit that China will double its 2006 assistance to Africa by 2009.

Two-way trade between China and Africa totaled nearly US$40 billion last year, 10 times the 1995 figure.