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China fulfills promised aid and loans to Africa
Updated: 2009-11-09 13:58

SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt: Assistance commitments made in the eight measures announced at the 2006 Beijing Summit had been achieved, marking a new historical phase of the China-Africa strategic partnership, Chinese Commerce Minister Chen Deming declared here Sunday.

Chen made the comments in his report to the Fourth Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), which is being held in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.

The eight measures for China-Africa practical cooperation announced by Chinese President Hu Jintao at the Beijing Summit of the FOCAC had been implemented, and the target set out in the summit had been achieved, said Chen.

The eight measures included China's pledge to double its 2006 assistance to Africa by 2009, provide 3 billion U.S. dollars of preferential loans and 2 billion dollars of preferential buyer's credits to Africa, and establish a development fund of 5 billion dollars to encourage Chinese firms to invest in Africa. Debt cancellation was another major measure.

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The minister observed that aid to Africa was steadily expanding, adding that "preferential funding has been put in place."

According to Chen, by the end of 2009, the provision of 3 billion dollars worth of preferential loans and 2 billion dollars worth of preferential export buyer's credit would have been fully implemented.

"Debt cancellation commitments are honored timely," said the minister, pointing out that debt cancellation procedures for the 154 debt payments of 33 countries had so far been all completed.

He told the conference that the construction of the Arab Union Conference Center was proceeding smoothly and was expected to be completed by the end of 2011.

The building of overseas trade and economic cooperation zones was also making good progress, and Chinese enterprises had established a total of six trade and economic cooperation zones in Zambia, Egypt, Mauritius, Nigeria and Ethiopia, Chen remarked.

The minister also said that in addition to the various programs included in the eight measures, China had undertaken 59 complete projects and 122 projects on the provision of in-kind assistance. China had also launched 65 technical cooperation projects and had dispatched 42 medical teams under the framework of bilateral assistance.

The opening ceremony of the Fourth Ministerial Meeting of the FOCAC was held on Sunday morning, with the participation of Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and African heads of state or government from 49 countries.

The two-day conference has the theme of "Deepening the New Type of China-Africa Strategic Partnership For Sustainable Development."

The main agenda of the meeting is to review the implementation of the follow-up activities of the FOCAC Beijing Summit and the Third Ministerial Conference. It also aimed at exploring new initiatives and measures to promote Sino-African cooperation in such top-priority areas as human resources and infrastructure development, agriculture, investment and trade.