YAOUNDE -- Chinese President Hu Jintao will arrive here Tuesday for a state visit to Cameroon, which is expected to usher in a new stage in bilateral relations.
China-Cameroon relations have grown steadily since the two countries established diplomatic ties in 1971, marked by the ever-deepening of bilateral cooperation in economy, trade, construction, infrastructure, agriculture, education, culture and other areas.
In 2005, two-way trade totaled 210 million U.S. dollars, with Cameroon's imports and exports hitting 142 million dollars and 68 million dollars respectively.
Cameroon exports cotton, logs and lumber to China, from which it imports footwear, tractors and mechanical and electrical products.
Construction is one of the main areas of bilateral cooperation. The Chinese-funded conference building and the maternity and child care center in the Cameroonian capital Yaounde have become an emblem of the China-Cameroon friendship. The gymnasium being built in Yaounde also draws great interest from all walks of life in Cameroon.
Meanwhile, an increasing number of Chinese enterprises are entering the markets of the West African country, contributing to local economic development and helping improve the living standards of the people.
The China Road and Bridge Corporation is one of the firms whose work has brought benefit to Cameroonians. Beating rival bidders in 2004, it won a contract for road extensions with a combined length of 12.8 km in Cameroon's economic capital Douala. The successful completion of the project in September 2006 has been instrumental in further promoting the friendship between the two peoples.
Chinese medical workers have been working in Cameroon since 1975. Their services have won warm applause from the local people.
Agriculture is traditionally a key sector in both Africa and China. In January 2006, China's Shaanxi Province reached an agreement with Cameroon to invest 60.5 million dollars in the African nation in projects linked to rice growing, cassava processing and ostrich raising.
In educational cooperation, China's Zhejiang Normal University set up a Chinese language teaching center in Yaounde in 1997, with the help of the local government and teaching staff.
The center serves as a bridge of friendship between China and Africa. It has provided training for more than 300 professionals, including Cameroonians from the diplomatic and foreign trade circles, and others from neighboring African countries.