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  Home > FOCAC Archives > The 2nd Ministerial Conference > Follow-up Actions
Speech of Vice Minister Wei Jianguo at the Closing Ceremony of the Fourth SOM of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation
2005/08/23

 

Your Excellency Mr. Chairman,

Honorable delegates,

Distinguished diplomatic envoys,

Ladies and gentlemen,

In great delight, we are now gathering with our African friends in Beijing again to lay out the plans for China-Africa cooperation. My mood is best described in one of Confucius lines: "It gives me great delight to have friends traveling from afar".

Over the past two days, more than 200 representatives from China and 46 African countries and 6 regional organizations have stayed happily together and freely contributed their views and ideas for deepening the comprehensive cooperation between China and Africa. Xu Jinghu, Chinese Secretary General of the Committee for Follow-up Actions of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation reported to the meeting on the implementation of the various follow-up actions after the second Ministerial Meeting and presented Chinese ideas for the third Ministerial Conference. Officials from the Chinese Ministry of Commerce and Eximbank had in-depth discussions and exchanges with their African counterparts on China-Africa investment cooperation. Through the joint efforts of all representatives, the meeting reviewed and endorsed a Minute on the 4th Senior Officials Meeting of the Forum. Two days of substantive and efficient work has drawn a successful conclusion to relevant agenda items of the SOM. Hereby, on behalf of the Chinese side of the Committee for Follow-up Actions, I'd like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to all the delegates.

According to the agenda, our African friends will be traveling to Kunming and Xiamen. I wish all my friends a pleasant and productive journey.

Ladies and gentlemen,

In a bid to further strengthen Sino-African solidarity and cooperation, and positively respond to the proposal of enhancing the Forum to head-state level put forward by many leaders of African countries, the Chinese side consider to upgrade the 3rd Ministerial Conference of FOCAC in 2006 as a Summit of leaders from the two sides. We believe, through the holding of summit, it will surely inject strong vitality into our friendship and cooperation, and promote the development of higher, broader and more extensive trade and economic cooperation. To that end, I propose the following:

I. Continuously expanding imports and exports

In recent years, Sino-African trade has seen rapid and consistent growth as a result of our concerted efforts. The bilateral trade registered an average annual growth rate of 38% between 2000 and 2004, reaching a state of balance. In order to expand the imports from African countries, China has applied zero-tariff treatment to a selected number of products from the least developed countries in Africa, resulting in greater exports from Africa to China. The Chinese government continues to encourage Chinese companies to actively increase their imports from Africa based on market demand. Meanwhile, it remains committed to making joint efforts with African countries to create a fairer and more reasonable international trading environment for African countries.

II. Actively engaging in investment and trade

We have taken note of the strong desire of African countries for strengthening pragmatic cooperation with China in the field of investment. The Chinese Government will, as always, actively encourage competent, reputable and experienced Chinese enterprises to invest in Africa, to engage in various kinds of investment cooperation such as overseas processing and resource development, and to work for mutual benefits and a win-win outcome. We are also ready to share with our African friends the experience we have accumulated and lessons learned through our successes and failures in attracting foreign investment and establishing economic and technological development zones. We hope it can save you some detours in economic development. We will encourage Chinese financial institutions to enhance cooperation with regional and sub-regional financial institutions in Africa so as to provide efficient financial services for Chinese and African enterprises in their trade and investment activities.

III. Expanding areas of cooperation

China and Africa enjoy great economic complementarity and a wide range of areas for cooperation. On the one hand, China and Africa need to enhance cooperation in such traditional areas as agriculture, transportation, telecommunications, health care, education, natural resources and human resources development. On the other hand, we should actively explore cooperation in other fields such as tourism, finance, science and technology. We need to improve the scale, level and returns of our cooperation. While strengthening bilateral cooperation, we shall also actively explore, enhance and enrich our cooperation in the multilateral arena.

IV. Promoting exchanges between enterprises

Enterprises are the main players in China-Africa trade and economic cooperation. We encourage businessmen of both sides to increase their exchanges and visits to each other. We also welcome more African businessmen to participate in the China Export Commodities Fair held in Guangdong, and to seek investment cooperation opportunities in the China International Fair for Investment and Trade held in Xiamen. It's our hope that the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade will reach an early agreement with Union of African Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Agriculture, and Professions on establishing the China-Africa Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry to serve enterprises of both sides in their trade and economic cooperation activities.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The Forum on China-Africa Cooperation has been in function for nearly 5 years. With continuous improvement and strengthening of its mechanism, the Forum has developed into a platform for enhancing dialogue, promoting cooperation and seeking common development between China and all African countries. Thanks to the unremitting and arduous fostering efforts of both parties, the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation has fully blossomed and borne many fruits. We firmly believe that with the care and attention from leaders of both China and African nations, and the efforts of governments, enterprises, and various social circles of both parties, the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation will bloom even more resplendently.

Let's meet again in Beijing in 2006.

Thank you!

 

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