A Big Year

ChinAfrica - - OPINION -

Chi­nafrica: What do you think will be some of the im­por­tant out­comes of the FOCAC Bei­jing Sum­mit in Septem­ber? Wang Shit­ing:

With the FOCAC Bei­jing Sum­mit ex­pected to be held in Septem­ber, this is go­ing to be a big year for China-africa re­la­tions. It will surely pro­pel China-africa re­la­tions and co­op­er­a­tion for­ward in sync with our times.

The FOCAC Bei­jing Sum­mit will rein­vig­o­rate our joint ef­forts to build a com­mu­nity with a shared fu­ture for mankind. The over­ar­ch­ing vi­sion of China’s diplo­macy is to build a new model of in­ter­na­tional re­la­tions and a com­mu­nity with a shared fu­ture for mankind. China and Africa have shared weal and woe to­gether and see our fu­ture as in­ter­wo­ven. At the sum­mit, the two sides will work for an even stronger China-africa com­mu­nity for a shared fu­ture by lay­ing out a mas­ter plan, seek­ing the guid­ance of our lead­ers, build­ing con­sen­sus and co­or­di­nat­ing our ac­tions.

The Bei­jing Sum­mit will also cat­alyze our joint ef­forts to ad­vance the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive. The sum­mit pro­vides an ex­cel­lent op­por­tu­nity to align this ini­tia­tive with the 2030 Agenda for Sus­tain­able De­vel­op­ment, AU Agenda 2063 and the de­vel­op­ment plans of African coun­tries. The sum­mit will bring to­gether Chi­nese cap­i­tal, tech­nol­ogy, equip­ment and tal­ent and Africa’s nat­u­ral re­sources, de­mo­graphic div­i­dends and mar­ket po­ten­tial. New mea­sures of co­op­er­a­tion are ex­pected [along with] mea­sures that will de­liver more win-win re­sults to both sides.

African lead­ers have re­sponded en­thu­si­as­ti­cally to the in­vi­ta­tion, and many have con­firmed their par­tic­i­pa­tion in­clud­ing the pres­i­dent of Ghana. We have no doubt that, with close China-africa col­lab­o­ra­tion, the Bei­jing Sum­mit will go down in his­tory as an­other mile­stone in China-africa re­la­tions. Surely, this is also a great op­por­tu­nity for the China-ghana re­la­tion­ship and it will deeply strengthen the re­la­tion­ship be­tween two coun­tries.

China is the lead­ing in­vestor in Ghana in terms of num­ber of projects. How do lo­cal Ghana­ians ben­e­fit from these projects and what new projects are in the pipeline for the next years?

newly ap­pointed chi­nese am­bas­sador to Ghana Wang Shit­ing is op­ti­mistic about china-ghana re­la­tions and also says this is a “big year” for china-africa re­la­tions in gen­eral. Wang, a sea­soned of­fi­cial who has served in african af­fairs for 27 years, be­lieves this year’s bei­jing sum­mit of the fo­rum on china-africa co­op­er­a­tion (focac) will be­come a new mile­stone in the de­vel­op­ment of china-africa re­la­tions. Wang shared his views on focac and other is­sues with Chi­nafrica Ghana­ian con­trib­u­tor emefa abla ad­jei. edited ex­tracts fol­low: The Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive of China, which en­cour­ages Chi­nese en­ter­prises to in­vest over­seas and seek co­op­er­a­tion on in­dus­trial ca­pac­ity, shares the same idea with the One District, One Fac­tory ini­tia­tive of the Ghana­ian Govern­ment. Right now the main area of Chi­nese in­vest­ments in­cludes en­ergy, com­mu­ni­ca­tion and man­u­fac­tur­ing. These in­vest­ments have ben­e­fited a large num­ber of Ghana­ian peo­ple, pro­vided a huge amount of jobs, shared the tech­nolo­gies and ex­pe­ri­ences of China, as well as made con­tri­bu­tions to the in­dus­tri­al­iza­tion of Ghana by im­prov­ing the value chain. The Chi­nese en­ter­prises in Ghana like Twyford (Ghana) Ce­ram­ics Co. Ltd., Sen­tuo Steel Ltd. and Wynca Sun­shine Agric Prod­ucts and Trad­ing Co. Ltd. pro­vide thou­sands of jobs to lo­cal peo­ple and help Ghana speed up its in­dus­tri­al­iza­tion process. Agri­cul­ture is also an area of great po­ten­tial. As I know, some Chi­nese agri­cul­tural com­pa­nies are seek­ing in­vest­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties in Ghana. I firmly be­lieve the Chi­nese in­vest­ments to Ghana will keep in­creas­ing in the com­ing years, and the bi­lat­eral

co­op­er­a­tion be­tween the two coun­tries has a promis­ing fu­ture.

There are many Chi­nese busi­nesses thriv­ing in Ghana. What ad­vice do you have for Ghana­ians who wish to do busi­ness in China?

The bi­lat­eral trade be­tween China and Ghana has been in­creas­ing vastly in re­cent years. In 2017, the vol­ume of bi­lat­eral trade achieved $6.68 bil­lion, with an 11.69-per­cent growth year on year. Es­pe­cially, the ex­ports from Ghana to China had an in­cred­i­ble year-on-year growth of 41.3 per­cent. For the Ghana­ian busi­ness­peo­ple, we sug­gest they take ad­van­tage of the plat­forms such as China In­ter­na­tional Im­port Expo and China Im­port and Ex­port Fair (Can­ton Fair). In ad­di­tion, it is im­por­tant to find re­li­able Chi­nese part­ners through reg­u­lar con­tact, learn more about Chi­nese mar­ket cul­ture and do busi­ness that abides by the law of both coun­tries. The Chi­nese Em­bassy in Ghana will also help busi­ness­peo­ple from both sides know each other and pro­vide nec­es­sary as­sis­tance.

Re­cently, you wel­comed the 28th Es­cort Task Group of the Chi­nese PLA Navy to Ghana. Can you tell us a lit­tle about their visit?

From June 4 to 8, the 28th Es­cort Task Group (ETG) of the Chi­nese PLA Navy com­posed of Plans Yancheng (FFG-546), Plans Weifang (FFG-550) and Plans Taihu (AOR-889) paid a friendly visit to Ghana. Dur­ing the visit, Com­man­ders of ETG and com­mand­ing of­fi­cers of the war­ships paid cour­tesy calls on the Ghana­ian mil­i­tary and govern­ment of­fi­cials.

They also vis­ited the Kofi An­nan In­ter­na­tional Peace­keep­ing Train­ing Cen­ter and the Ghana Armed Forces Com­mand and Staff Col­lege, held pub­lic ac­tiv­i­ties, do­nated com­put­ers, sta­tionery and foot­balls to the Naval Base Pri­mary School in Tema and held a joint mil­i­tary ex­er­cise at sea with the Ghana­ian Navy.

The visit of the Chi­nese PLA Navy is a jour­ney of peace, friend­ship and co­op­er­a­tion. It fully demon­strates the good image of China as a re­spon­si­ble coun­try. The visit has greatly in­spired the na­tional pride and con­fi­dence of over­seas Chi­nese in Ghana. It will cer­tainly have a sig­nif­i­cant and pos­i­tive im­pact on the de­vel­op­ment of re­la­tions be­tween the two coun­tries and the two armed forces.

What at­trac­tions do you think Ghana has for Chi­nese tourists and are there plans to in­crease Chi­nese tourism to Ghana?

Ghana has beau­ti­ful coast­lines, lush trop­i­cal rain­forests and a wide va­ri­ety of wild an­i­mals. Ghana also has a long his­tory, fan­tas­tic cul­ture, and warm and friendly peo­ple.

China is will­ing to fur­ther strengthen bi­lat­eral col­lab­o­ra­tion in the con­struc­tion of tourism and cul­tural fa­cil­i­ties and in the ex­plo­ration of tourism re­sources, to con­tin­u­ously en­hance mu­tual un­der­stand­ing be­tween the two coun­tries.

We would en­cour­age more Chi­nese tourists to visit Ghana and more Chi­nese en­ter­prises to in­vest in Ghana’s tourism in­dus­try. We will fur­ther strengthen co­op­er­a­tion in the fields of tourism and cul­ture be­tween the two coun­tries.

When vis­it­ing africa in 2013, chi­nese pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping pro­posed sin­cer­ity, real re­sults, affin­ity and good faith as the guide­line for china-africa re­la­tions, and of­fered to pur­sue the greater good and shared in­ter­ests in re­la­tion to africa. ac­cord­ing to this guide­line, china and africa will for­ever re­main good friends by de­vel­op­ing to­gether, good part­ners with equal co­op­er­a­tion and good broth­ers through thick and thin.

What are your thoughts on the fu­ture of Sino-african re­la­tions in gen­eral?

China and Africa is a com­mu­nity with a shared fu­ture and sol­i­dar­ity. As a con­ti­nent where de­vel­op­ing coun­tries are most con­cen­trated, Africa is the “foun­da­tion of the foun­da­tion” of China’s diplo­macy.

When vis­it­ing Africa in 2013, Chi­nese Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping pro­posed sin­cer­ity, real re­sults, affin­ity and good faith as the guide­line for China-africa re­la­tions, and of­fered to pur­sue the greater good and shared in­ter­ests in re­la­tion to Africa. Ac­cord­ing to this guide­line, China and Africa will for­ever re­main good friends by de­vel­op­ing to­gether, good part­ners with equal co­op­er­a­tion and good broth­ers through thick and thin. China will put it­self into Africa’s shoes, pro­vide fi­nan­cial, tech­ni­cal and per­son­nel sup­port to Africa’s in­dus­tri­al­iza­tion process. Not only by achiev­ing poverty re­duc­tion and im­prov­ing peo­ple’s liveli­hood, but China will also help im­prove Africa’s in­de­pen­dent de­vel­op­ment ca­pac­ity and en­hance Africa’s own “hematopoi­etic” func­tion. With the joint ef­forts of both sides, China-africa co­op­er­a­tion will climb the peak and forge into a new era. * Com­ments to

* re­port­ing from ghana niyan­shuo@chi­nafrica.cn

Stu­dents in East­ern Re­gion of Ghana get wa­ter from a well con­structed by a Chi­nese com­pany

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