Eco­nomic part­ner­ship ex­pected to grow stronger

China Daily European Weekly - - News Digest - By EDITH MUTETHYA edith­mutethya@chi­nadaily.com.cn

The eco­nomic part­ner­ship be­tween China and Ethiopia is poised to grow fur­ther, fol­low­ing a re­cent visit to the East African coun­try by Li Zhan­shu, chair­man of the Stand­ing Com­mit­tee of the Na­tional Peo­ple’s Congress.

Ethiopia was the des­ti­na­tion of Li’s first over­seas visit since he as­sumed of­fice in March, which he said showed the great im­por­tance that China at­taches to the de­vel­op­ment of bi­lat­eral ties and China-Africa re­la­tions.

The top Chi­nese leg­is­la­tor said China was will­ing to work with Ethiopia to deepen mu­tual po­lit­i­cal trust and strengthen practical co­op­er­a­tion, as well as con­stantly el­e­vate friend­ship and co­op­er­a­tion be­tween the two na­tions.

“Ethiopia and China are at a new point of re­la­tions, and my visit to the coun­try reaf­firms China’s in­ter­est in sup­port­ing the new Ethiopian govern­ment. The re­cent peace­ful tran­si­tion of power in Ethiopia shows wis­dom and po­lit­i­cal ca­pa­bil­ity in gov­er­nance,” he said.

Li said Ethiopia was an im­por­tant part­ner of China in Africa. He said the practical co­op­er­a­tion be­tween the two sides had played an ex­em­plary role in both China-Africa and South-South co­op­er­a­tion.

“China firmly sup­ports Ethiopia’s de­vel­op­ment path in ac­cor­dance with the African coun­try’s own na­tional con­di­tions and sup­ports its efforts to de­velop its econ­omy as well as main­tain sta­bil­ity,” he said.

Dur­ing his meet­ing with Li, Ethiopian Pres­i­dent Mu­latu Teshome said China-Ethiopia ties were now in their best pe­riod in his­tory.

“Ethiopia is ready to make joint efforts with China to de­velop a com­pre­hen­sive strate­gic part­ner­ship of co­op­er­a­tion and bet­ter ben­e­fit the two coun­tries and their cit­i­zens,” he said.

Li also shared views on China’s po­lit­i­cal sys­tem and path of de­vel­op­ment with the newly elected Ethiopian Prime Min­is­ter Abiy Ahmed. They spoke about China’s gov­er­nance ex­pe­ri­ence and prac­tices.

Li said that five years ago Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping put forththe prin­ci­ples of sin­cer­ity, real re­sults, affin­ity and good faith — and the no­tion of up­hold­ing justice while pur­su­ing shared in­ter­ests when ad­vanc­ing co­op­er­a­tion with Africa.

Abiy said friendly re­la­tions be­tween Ethiopia and China were as solid as a rock, adding that Pres­i­dent Xi’s thoughts on gov­er­nance pro­vided im­por­tant guid­ance and ref­er­ence for the de­vel­op­ment of Ethiopia and other African coun­tries.

He said im­ple­men­ta­tion of the 10 ma­jor plans for China-Africa co­op­er­a­tion and the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive had brought tan­gi­ble ben­e­fits for Africa, and Ethiopia was will­ing to con­tinue deep­en­ing co­op­er­a­tion with China in the fields of in­fra­struc­ture con­struc­tion, fi­nance, tourism and hu­man re­sources.

Mufe­riat Kamil, the speaker of Ethiopia’s House of Peo­ple’s Rep­re­sen­ta­tives, said it was vi­tal to fur­ther strengthen the re­la­tion­ship be­tween the Ethiopian Par­lia­ment and the Na­tional Peo­ple’s Congress of China, as well as re­in­force peo­ple-to-peo­ple ex­changes.

Kamil called on China to sup­port and en­cour­age Ethiopia’s com­mit­ment to bring po­lit­i­cal sta­bil­ity to the Horn of Africa and to re­store peace and sta­bil­ity in South Su­dan and So­ma­lia.

Ke­ria Ibrahim, speaker of the Ethiopian House of Fed­er­a­tion, said the re­la­tion­ship be­tween China and Ethiopia was very com­pre­hen­sive and was strength­en­ing pe­ri­od­i­cally.

She said Ethiopia was ready to learn from China’s de­vel­op­ment ex­pe­ri­ence, as well as work with China to step up trade co­op­er­a­tion and peo­pleto-peo­ple ex­changes.

Li said the Chi­nese side would work with the Ethiopian Par­lia­ment to im­prove the le­gal environment to bet­ter fa­cil­i­tate ties. He said the NPC would open a sem­i­nar for leg­is­la­tors from de­vel­op­ing coun­tries in Africa this year, and he in­vited Ethiopian del­e­gates to par­tic­i­pate.

Dur­ing his stay in Ad­dis Ababa, Li, to­gether with Abiy, wit­nessed the sign­ing of co­op­er­a­tion doc­u­ments be­tween the two sides, and he inked a mem­o­ran­dum of un­der­stand­ing with the Ethiopian Par­lia­ment.

China and Ethiopia en­joy a high level of eco­nomic en­gage­ment. Trade vol­ume be­tween the two coun­tries is cur­rently at $6 bil­lion, ac­cord­ing to the Ethiopian In­vest­ment Com­mis­sion, and be­tween 2012 and 2017, 28,391 jobs were cre­ated in Ethiopia by 279 Chi­nese com­pa­nies.

Out of these jobs, over 19,000 were cre­ated in the man­u­fac­tur­ing sec­tor, which is lead­ing its African peers by at­tract­ing frims from China in terms of num­bers and fi­nan­cial cap­i­tal.

Li also made an of­fi­cial visit to Mozam­bique from May 12 to May 15 to pro­mote friend­ship and co­op­er­a­tion be­tween the two coun­tries.

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