China lauds ties with Africa ahead of inaugural China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo

Ahead of the inaugural China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo (CAETE) scheduled for later this month, the Chinese organizers have revealed that the forum will hold 14 events and one exhibition to discuss a new path and new measures for China-Africa economic and trade cooperation.

The announcement was made at the first press conference in the run-up to the expo, attended by the Vice Minister of MOFCOM Qian Keming and the Vice Governor of the People’s Government of Hunan Province He Baoxiang.

Mr. He said in his briefing that the Expo had set up a project database covering investment, trade, agriculture, tourism and logistics in areas of infrastructure, industrial park development among others.

“The Expo promotes the transformation of China-Africa economic and trade cooperation toward a capacity building orientation,” he said.

On his part, Mr. Qian hailed the trade relations between China and Africa, noting that Chinese companies have played a key role in the infrastructural development of Africa.

“In 2018, China-Africa trade volume reached US$204.2 billion, up by 20% year on year. China has become Africa’s largest trading partner for ten consecutive years. Chinese enterprises have been actively participating in infrastructure construction in Africa, and have been implementing a large number of major projects in the fields of rail transit, ports, aviation, and electric power, which have facilitated the entry of China’s technologies, equipment, standards, and services into Africa,” Mr. Qian said.

He also noted that the ties had prompted eight African countries to include the RMB in their foreign exchange reserves.

The China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo was proposed in the discussions at the 2018 Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, and is establishing a new mechanism for economic and trade cooperation between China and African countries.

It will be held between June 27-29 in Changsha, the capital of China’s central Hunan province.

53 African countries have confirmed attending the expo. The United Nations Industrial Development Organization, the World Food Programme and the World Trade Organization are also attending.

Hunan will host the forum once every two years, a sign of close relations between the Central Chinese province and Africa.

The 2019 China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo will be held under the theme “Win-Win Cooperation for Closer China-Africa Economic and Trade Partnership”