China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo: What you need to know

China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo is co-organized by Ministry of Commerce of the People's Republic of China (MOFCOM) and People's Government of Hunan Province. (Photo: CGTN)
China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo is co-organized by Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China (MOFCOM) and People’s Government of Hunan Province. (Photo: CGTN)

The first China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo is set to be held this month, June 27 to 29, in Hunan, China.

China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo, co-organized by Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China (MOFCOM) and People’s Government of Hunan Province, is the only economic and trade cooperation platform under the FOCAC mechanism.

Centred on the theme “Win-Win Cooperation for Closer China-Africa Economic Partnership,”the Expo focuses on key areas, including trade and investment promotion, agricultural technology, energy and power, industrial park development, infrastructure, and financing.

Here’s all you need to know about this unprecedented event:

Who is involved?

As of May 24, 1,388 guests and traders from 52 African countries have signed up and confirmed their attendance for the first China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo, the organising committee said.

Tanzania, Angola, Egypt, Uganda, Senegal, Côte d’Ivoire, are countries listed as guest of honour (in no particular order).

Event background

In September 2018, the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China–Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) was held, noted as one of the largest and most high-level international events in China. The event saw Chinese President Xi Jinping and leaders of the FOCAC member countries gathered in Beijing.

Under the theme of “China and Africa: Toward an Even Stronger Community with a Shared Future through Win-Win Cooperation”, they discussed plans to further enhance China-Africa relations and drew a blueprint for China-Africa cooperation.

At the opening ceremony, President Xi announced Eight Major Initiatives in collaboration with African countries over the next three years. Regarded as the highlight of the Summit in terms of practical cooperation, the initiatives were widely praised by African countries and the international community.

The first initiative was to hold a China-Africa Economic and Trade expo in China, which has now come to light this month. The event aims to demonstrate China’s confidence and determination in opening up, sharing China’s development dividends, and enhancing cooperation with African countries in the new era.

What does it involve?

The Expo consists of 14 events(4 seminars, 3 conferences for investment and trade promotion, 3 forums, and 3 supporting events) and one exhibition.

The exhibition will have 6 pavilions including Pavilion of African Countries, Cooperation Projects Pavilion, Achievement Pavilion, Pavilion for Chinese Provinces/Municipalities/Autonomous Regions, Chinese Corporate Pavilion and Online Exhibition.

Fifty-three African countries that have established diplomatic relations with China will set up independent pavilions in the Pavilion of African Countries, and 28 provinces and municipalities will set up independent pavilions in the Pavilion for Chinese Provinces/Municipalities/Autonomous Regions.

What are the highlights?

The “Teach People How to Fish” books and exhibition is expected to be the highlight of the Expo.

The “Teach People How to Fish” books and exhibition will be a noted part of the Expo. (Photo: CGTN)

The books refer to China-Africa Economic and Trade Cooperation Projects`, and is based off the principle of “teaching people how to fish,”as proposed by President Xi Jinping for China-Africa cooperation.

The organizing committee solicited economic and trade cooperation projects and pragmatic solutions for China-Africa capacity cooperation, highlighting the core ideas of “methodology, operation, and reference”. In accordance with the requirements that those cases need to be “sustainable, scalable, replicable, learnable, and feasible”, screening and compilation are carried out with the utmost care.

The 101 selected cases cover 21 Chinese provinces and municipalities nationwide cooperating with 31 countries in Africa, involving cooperation in eight fields, i.e. agriculture, industrial manufacturing, commerce and trade, infrastructure, and park development, energy and mining, financing, as well as package cooperation.

The “One Exhibition” refers to the project exhibition. It showcases 35 cases of various industries selected from the 101 China-Africa economic and trade cooperation projects. 25 projects in reserve are also selected and included in the exhibition.

In addition, an online expo is set up together with a brick-and-mortar “African Commodities Pavilion” at the Gaoqiao Grand Market to display high-quality specialty products from African countries, staging an expo that always stays on.