Much is ex­pected from Focac

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS -

AFRICAN coun­tries have high expectations for the Sum­mit of Fo­rum on China-Africa Co­op­er­a­tion (Focac) due in Johannesburg on Fri­day and Satur­day, South African of­fi­cials say.

South Africa is now at an ad­vanced stage of prepa­ra­tions, In­ter­na­tional Re­la­tions and Co- op­er­a­tion min­is­ter Maite Nkoana- Masha­bane said, adding that the coun­try ex­pected mu­tual ben­e­fit from the meet­ing.

Nosipho Mx­akato- Diseko, deputy di­rec­tor in the In­ter­na­tional Re­la­tions and Co­op­er­a­tion depart­ment, said the prepa­ra­tions were pro­gress­ing well.

“Ev­ery­thing is set and ne­go­ti­a­tions on the out­comes are well ad­vanced. We are ex­chang­ing drafts with China and other African coun­tries,” she said.

African coun­tries have given their in­puts also.

Chi­nese Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping, African lead­ers, and rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the AU and other re­gional or­gan­i­sa­tions will all at­tend.

“We have high expectations. We con­tinue to grow the AfricaChina part­ner­ship, which is mu­tu­ally re­spect­ful and ben­e­fi­cial,” Mx­akato-Diseko said.

China is Africa’s big­gest trad­ing part­ner and has spon­sored ma­jor projects on the con­ti­nent. She said Africa ex­pected China to also help achieve its de­vel­op­ment blueprint, the African Agenda 2063.

“We also ex­pect China to sup­port Agenda 2063, es­pe­cially the first 10-year im­ple­men­ta­tion plan. We are defin­ing the mu­tu­ally ben­e­fi­cial ar­eas. We can share ex­pe­ri­ence on how to lift the masses of our peo­ple out of poverty,” she said.

There would also be var­i­ous par­al­lel dis­cus­sions dur­ing the sum­mit, in­clud­ing talks be­tween min­is­ters who would re­fer im­por­tant is­sues to their heads of state.

There would also be dis­cus­sions be­tween aca­demics with the aim of im­prov­ing Chi­naAfrica re­la­tions, she added.

Siphamandla Zondi, di­rec­tor of the In­sti­tute for Global Di­a­logue and a mem­ber of the SA Coun­cil for In­ter­na­tional Re­la­tions, added: “Focac should be an im­por­tant mo­ment for Africa be­cause China con­tin­ues to be a big eco­nomic player. Trade be­tween Africa and China has grown.”

He sug­gested that Africa pri­ori­tise in­fra­struc­ture de­vel­op­ment at the sum­mit to take ad­van­tage of China-ini­ti­ated mul­ti­lat­eral fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions.

“It seems like an opportune mo­ment for Africa to clearly de­fine what it wants to get out of the Focac. What should rank supreme is in­fra­struc­ture in­vest­ment, given the es­tab­lish­ment of the Asian In­fra­struc­ture In­vest­ment Bank by China and the Brics New De­vel­op­ment Bank.

“Th­ese pro­vide a lot of cap­i­tal mar­ket ini­tia­tives in the area of in­vest­ments,” Zondi said.

Africa’s ma­jor ob­sta­cle to eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment was its ob­so­lete in­fra­struc­ture.

The World Bank puts Africa’s in­fra­struc­ture gap at an es­ti­mated $ 93 bil­lion (R1.3 tril­lion).

“If Africa gets all the re­sources nec­es­sary to boost in­fra­struc­ture, es­pe­cially in­trare­gional in­fra­struc­ture or con­ti­nen­tal in­fra­struc­ture from Cape to Cairo, that would have been an in­vest­ment in Africa’s fu­ture,” he added. – Xin­hua WHEN Robin Xu ar­rived in South Africa in 1994 from China, he only had one ship­ping con­tainer of Chi­nese goods to sell.

To­day he is pres­i­dent of the China Mall group, which has three trad­ing cen­tres – two in Joburg and one in Dur­ban.

He will be among the hun­dreds of del­e­gates ex­pected to at­tend the 2015 Fo­rum on China- Africa Co- op­er­a­tion (Focac) Sum­mit in his ca­pac­ity as chair­man of the Chi­na­South Africa Cham­ber of

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.