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  Home > FOCAC Archives > The 2nd Ministerial Conference > Follow-up Actions
Remarks by Honorable Haile~Kiros Gessesse Special Envoy of Ethiopia on China~Africa Cooperation Forum at he Opening Ceremony of the 4th Senior
2005/08/22

 

H.E. Mr. Lu Guozeng,

Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs of China,

Co-Chairperson of the Chinese Follow-up Committee of the Forum of China and Africa Cooperation,

Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

As a Special Envoy of Ethiopia to China-Africa Cooperation Forum, the Co-Chair Country of the Forum, it is my distinct pleasure to extend, my warmest welcome to all delegates, and express my gratitude to the people and Government of the People's Republic of China, for the warm welcome and generous hospitality accorded to us. I would also like to pay tribute to our host for the excellent arrangements made for this meeting.

Since the First China Africa Ministerial Conference held in Beijing in 2000, the two sides have maintained frequent exchange of high level visits and consultations, which has been instrumental to laying a sound political foundation to further enhance and deepen the friendship and cooperation between them.

Moreover, following the Second Ministerial Conference held in Addis Ababa in 2003, the two sides have made relentless efforts to implement the Addis Ababa Action Plan adopted by the Ministerial Conference.

I am sure you will all agree with me that the Addis Ababa Action Plan constitutes a quantum leap forward towards a more effective implementation of the principles embodied in the Beijing Declaration and the Programme for China-Africa Cooperation in Economic and Social Development.

In this regard, I am happy to note that since the Second Ministerial Conference, important progress has been made in strengthening the cooperation existing between China and Africa. The steps taken by the Chinese Government concerning preferential treatment for some African products to have access to China's market is indeed an encouraging development. This step will, undoubtedly, make its own positive contribution in further strengthening China-Africa Cooperation and in making the terms of trade between the two sides favorable to Africa also. This is a potential, which will have to be utilized more in the following years by encouraging the two-way trade and its rapid development in a mutually advantageous manner. One must stress that far reaching possibilities are opening up for the peoples of Africa and China both from the private and public sectors and they should be encouraged to make use of the opportunity, which is being created by application of the preferential treatment.

One other area, which holds significant promise in the growing cooperation between China and Africa, is the human resources development field. In this connection, it is with a great sense of satisfaction that we note that China has paid special attention to the area. The setting up in China of the African Human Resources Development Fund is not only another testimony of China's resolve to implementing the Addis Ababa Action Plan, but is also a reflection of China's endeavor to laying the foundation for more sustained and more effective cooperation between China and Africa in this and other fields.

Excellencies,

We are of the view that development cannot be sustainable if the required skilled manpower is not available and if trained people are not involved in the activities of development programmes. We are also convinced that human resource development remains to be a major challenge for Africa in the years to come. In this regard, we believe that China's assistance in human resources development will play an instrumental role in the economic development of Africa.

I must add that the existing, friendly cooperation between China and Africa in various fields of development are indeed encouraging. It is noteworthy that China has been providing assistances to African countries in several important fields of development. Numerous progress have been undertaken by Chinese companies, in joint investment ventures, in many areas which have now become not only the symbol of friendship and cooperation between China and Africa, but also meaningful in terms of supporting the development endeavors of Africa.

Although the trade and investment relations between Africa and China have rapidly developed over the years, the volume of trade and investment still make up a small part of the total trade volume when compared to China's trade and investment relations with other regions. The cooperation in these areas, therefore, needs to be further promoted as a potential area for greater Sino-Africa Cooperation.

Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

China is a beacon of hope for Africa. What we Africans could learn from China's successful and remarkable economic development in the past three decades is that, if the right domestic policies, coupled with peace and stability, are prevailing, it is possible to bring sustainable economic development to Africa also. It is our conviction that Africa's development endeavors need genuine partnership from countries like China whose development experiences are relevant to Africa's present day conditions. We believe that promoting Sino-Africa Cooperation through such exchange of experiences is very important. Therefore, it is essential that both China and Africa continue to enhance this form of cooperation for the mutual benefit of our peoples.

Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

At this juncture, I would like to say that relations between Africa and China have always been excellent, and continue to grow. We have also managed to build ties that are marked by a great deal of mutual confidence and trust. We have therefore, as I said earlier, laid the foundation and the basis for these ties that can be even more durable and meaningful. It is nonetheless when the two sides are bound by strong economic and trade ties that we can have full confidence in the strength and durability of these ties. In today's globalizing world, economic cooperation is at the heart of relations between countries. It is the foundation, on which the entire edifice of relations has to be built. It's also for this reason that we feel we should make trade and economic ties the central elements in the relations between Africa and China.

Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

In conclusion, as we all are aware the Senior Officials Meeting is entrusted with the task of reviewing the implementation of the Addis Ababa Action Plan and with the preparations of the agenda for the next Ministerial Conference which is scheduled to be held in 2006 in Beijing. I, therefore, wish to suggest to all participants to pay special attention to issues that will have significant impact in further enhancing the economic cooperation between China and Africa.

I wish you all a successful deliberation.

I thank you.

 

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