China-Africa business ties set to shine

2023-07-04 08:20:48China Daily Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

Fruit from Africa is on display during the third China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo in Changsha, Hunan province. (GU PENGBO/FOR CHINA DAILY)

Economic and trade ties between China and African countries will get further enriched on the back of an improving business environment of both sides that will enable companies to engage in each other's markets — and this, in turn, will help maintain the stability of global industrial and supply chains in the years ahead, government officials and business leaders said after the conclusion of a key expo.

They also said growing cooperation between the two sides will create a conducive environment for businesses to expand their operations, thus creating jobs, fostering growth and driving green development.

Both China and Africa can work toward win-win as China's remarkable success in pursuing high-quality development and achieving sustained economic growth can inspire African countries, said Ashish Shah, director of country programs at the Geneva-based International Trade Center, at a seminar during the third China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo, which concluded in Changsha, the capital of Hunan province, on Sunday.

Agreements for 120 projects valued at $10.3 billion were signed during the four-day expo, according to the organizers. And 99 cooperation projects valued at $8.7 billion were announced, including 74 big-ticket projects involving 11 African countries — the highest number ever recorded.

The event attracted 1,700 foreign and over 10,000 domestic attendees — another record. The cumulative value of expressions of intent for transactions was $400 million, said Hunan's provincial department of commerce.

The exhibition showcased 29 African countries' products spanning 1,600 categories, up a staggering 166 percent from the previous edition.

Government officials and business executives who attended the expo said they are keen to explore potential opportunities across various sectors, including agriculture and energy.

They also said the platform has helped expand trade relations between China and African countries, facilitating valuable exchanges and fostering mutual growth.

Solomon Telila, minister of the embassy of Ethiopia in Beijing, said China has notable advantages in the field of new energy and stands well-positioned to assist African nations in establishing various renewable energy projects, including solar power plants, wind farms and hydropower initiatives.

These collaborative endeavors hold the potential to enhance the quality of life of people in Africa while contributing to the continent's energy security, said Telila.

Agreed Simplex Banda, Malawi's minister of trade and industry. "Malawi is prioritizing new energy and mining sectors for investment. Clean energy has gained heavy attention, as the government aims to drive energy transformation toward sustainable sources.

"Our government is also eagerly seeking the assistance of Chinese companies to facilitate the development of its local travel industry."

Zhou Xiaoyan, vice-president of the Beijing-based China Council for International Investment Promotion, said by leveraging their respective strengths and resources, China and African countries can foster greater integration in key sectors like manufacturing, agriculture, infrastructure and technology.

Such integration, she said, can lead to increased productivity, improved efficiency and enhanced competitiveness for businesses operating in both sides.

These moves will also help African economies reduce vulnerability to external shocks and strengthen their resilience, said Zhou.

Apart from exporting construction machinery like excavators and bulldozers to Africa, Zoomlion Heavy Industry Science and Technology Co Ltd plans to ship more agricultural machinery to promote the modernization of agriculture in Africa this year, said Wang Yongxiang, vice-president of the Changsha-headquartered engineering equipment manufacturer.

China-Africa trade soared more than 16 percent year-on-year to 822.32 billion yuan ($113.52 billion) in the first five months of this year, data from China's General Administration of Customs showed.

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