China and Africa should fully tap cooperation potential and strive to bring
their trade volume to US$100 billion by 2010, Premier Wen Jiabao
proposed in Beijing Saturday afternoon at the High-level Dialogue and
2nd Conference of Chinese and African Entrepreneurs.
The figure will more than double the 2005 level, about US$39.7 billion. In
the first nine months, China-Africa trade surged to US$40.6 billion, up 42
"Although China's trade has been running a deficit against Africa in recent
years, China still hopes to further expand its import from African countries,"
At the opening ceremony Saturday morning of the Beijing Summit of Forum on
China-Africa Cooperation, Chinese President made fresh pledges to facilitate
bilateral trade and cooperation. He said that China will double its aid to
Africa by 2009, increase from 190 to over 440 the number of tariff-free import
items from the least developed African countries having diplomatic ties with
China will also provide 3 billion U.S. dollars in preferential loans and 2
billion U.S. dollars of export credits over the next three years and establish a
special fund of 5 billion US dollars to encourage Chinese investment in Africa.
Calling these measures "pragmatic and stimulative", Wen made five proposals
to entrepreneurs from both and Africa.
He said both sides should work closer in service sectors, tourism, finance
and telecommunications in particular, to cultivate new economic growth points
and facilitate trade in a more balanced and healthier manner.
He said China will encourage capable and reputed indigenous companies to
invest in Africa and spread their technology and management experiences. "We
will also encourage capable Chinese companies to invest in the trade and
economic cooperation zones in Africa," he said.
"African companies interested in investing in China are welcome, " Wen said.
Wen vowed to raise the level of China's aid to Africa. "China will, in
accordance with its own level of development, gradually expand the scale of its
aid to African countries, and help African countries raise their ability of
self-development and promote the comprehensive economic and social development,"
He said the aid to Africa should give more priority to public welfare
projects that concern the local people's livelihood, especially those on
agriculture, poverty alleviation, medical care and health, education, sports,
water supply, housing and environmental protection.
Wen noted that China will cancel debt owed by the heavily indebted poor
countries and the least developed countries in Africa to alleviate their burden.
Wen suggested to promote cooperation between Chinese and African enterprises,
saying the Chinese government will continue to provide help for the exchanges
and cooperation of enterprises of both sides.
Wen also said the personnel training for African countries should be
increased, adding China will increase the number of scholarships to African
students and will train 15,000 African professionals over the coming three years
to help the construction of African countries.
A total of 27 presidents and 6 prime ministers from Africa attended the
opening ceremony of the conference. Prior to the opening ceremony, Wen held a
welcoming ceremony in honor of the African leaders and other guests who
participated in the conference.