African deals worth $18 bil­lion sealed

China Daily (USA) - - TOP NEWS - By MOJINGXI mojingxi@chi­nadaily.com.cn

More than 40 deals worth $18 bil­lion were signed in Bei­jing on Thurs­day be­tween Chi­nese and African busi­nesses and fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions.

The agree­ments, signed dur­ing a China-Africa Busi­ness Co­op­er­a­tion sem­i­nar, cover in­fra­struc­ture con­struc­tion, en­ergy and man­u­fac­tur­ing.

They were reached on the eve of a co­or­di­na­tors’ meet­ing that aims to im­ple­ment fol­low-up ac­tion on the Jo­han­nes­burg Sum­mit of the Fo­rum of China-Africa Co­op­er­a­tion held in De­cem­ber.

Min­is­te­rial rep­re­sen­ta­tives from 53 fo­rum mem­bers will at­tend Fri­day’s meet­ing to re­view progress and to dis­cuss how to put the plans and ideas pro­duced at the­sum­mit into prac­tice.

Dur­ing the sum­mit, Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping put for­ward 10 ma­jor plans to boost co­op­er­a­tion with Africa in the next three years and said China would pro­vide a $60 bil­lion in­vest­ment pack­age to fi­nance the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the ini­tia­tives.

P. Mu­pazvir­iho, per­ma­nent sec­re­tary at Zim­babwe’ s Min­istry of En­vi­ron­ment, Wa­ter and Cli­mate, said, “I’m look­ing for­ward to the wa­ter project in­volved in to­day’s sign­ing cer­e­mony.”

Mu­pazvir­iho was in Bei­jing to sign a con­tract with a Chi­nese com­pany for the con­struc­tion of a dam in the African coun­try.

He said the dam will take more than three years to com­plete, but the project means there will be many op­por­tu­ni­ties for in­vest­ment in agri­cul­ture and do­mes­tic wa­ter sup­plies.

Chi­nese com­pa­nies have been busy in­vest­ing in Africa in re­cent years, with the con­ti­nent be­com­ing China’ s sec­ond largest mar­ket for over­seas con­tract con­struc­tion.

In the first six months of this year, China’s direct in­vest­ment in Africa in­creased year-on-year by 10 per­cent, ac­cord­ing to the Min­istry of Com­merce.

On Thurs­day, Vice-Pres­i­dent Li Yuan­chao met with the heads of del­e­ga­tions from African coun­tries to at­tend the co­or­di­na­tors’ meet­ing, and called for China and Africa to pro­mote prac­ti­cal co­op­er­a­tion and peo­ple-to-peo­ple ex­changes, and to en­hance co­op­er­a­tion on in­ter­na­tional af­fairs.

Yao Guimei, a re­searcher of African stud­ies at the Chi­nese Academy of So­cial Sci­ences, said the agree­ments signed on Thurs­day show that China is op­ti­mistic about the great po­ten­tial in Africa.

“Backed by funds such as the China-Africa Fund for pro­duc­tion ca­pac­ity co­op­er­a­tion, Chi­nese com­pa­nies, which have a good ca­pac­ity for in­fra­struc­ture, can help African coun­tries to build much-needed in­fra­struc­ture fa­cil­i­ties,” Yao said.

$60 bil­lion amount of the in­vest­ment pack­age China is pro­vid­ing to Africa in the next three years

WANG ZHUANGFEI/ CHINA DAILY

Rep­re­sen­ta­tives from Chi­nese and African en­ter­prises at­tend a photo ses­sion af­ter sign­ing co­op­er­a­tion con­tracts dur­ing the Chi­naAfrica Busi­ness Co­op­er­a­tion sem­i­nar in Bei­jing on Thurs­day.

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