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China-Africa friendship strengthen by diverse, growing cooperation

         Date: 2012-02-24

           Tag: China-Africa, China-Africa friendship

Summary: As a new monument of the long-standing friendship between China and Africa, the 20-story African Union (AU) Conference Center and Office Complex constructed with the aid of the Chinese government。

  As a new monument of the long-standing friendship between China and Africa, the 20-story African Union (AU) Conference Center and Office Complex constructed with the aid of the Chinese government, was just inaugurated in Addis Ababa before the 18th Ordinary Session of the AU Assembly Saturday.

  At the inauguration ceremony, Jia Qinglin, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), said the new AU headquarters is a gift from the Chinese government and people and also a symbol of the growing China-Africa relationship.

  "The Chinese government has attached great importance to economic and trade cooperation with Africa, and promoted all-round cooperation in fields such as trade, investment, infrastructure, agriculture, human resources, clean energy and environmental protection," Jia said.

  ECONOMIC, TRADE COOPERATION ON FAST TRACK

  The booming China-Africa economic and trade cooperation serves as a major driving force for overall cooperation between the two countries and is becoming increasingly important to both, especially when the developed countries, the main export destinations for both China and Africa, are suffering from global economic woes and the eurozone debt crisis.

  The establishment of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in 2000 put their economic and trade ties on the fast track. Bilateral trade grew from 10.6 billion U.S. dollars in 2000 to 160 billion dollars in 2011, and Chinese investment in Africa rose from tens of millions of dollars to over 10 billion dollars.

  China has become Africa's largest trading partner, according to the Chinese Ministry of Commerce.

  At the same time, Africa has become one of China's top investment destinations. More than 2,000 Chinese enterprises are investing in the continent. Accumulated investment from China has surpassed 40 billion dollars.

  In addition, China has further facilitated the entry of African commodities into its market. During the G20 summit held in Cannes in November 2011, Chinese President Hu Jintao said that China will give zero-tariff treatment to 97 percent of the tariffed exports from the least developed countries (LDCs) with diplomatic ties to China.

  The LDCs -- 33 from Africa, 14 from Asia plus Haiti -- are defined by the United Nations as those with a per capita income of less than 745 dollars a year.

  China has imported African products worth 1.32 billion dollars under the zero-tariff terms from 2005 to June 2010, according to a government white paper on China-Africa economic and trade cooperation released in 2010.

  Moreover, China is building economic and trade cooperation zones in Zambia, Mauritius, Nigeria, Egypt and Ethiopia, involving 250 million dollars in infrastructure construction.

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