A high-level summit of Chinese and African leaders due to take place on Dec. 4-5 in Johannesburg, South Africa, will revise the economic and social relations between the two sides, Chinese and Kenyan diplomats said in Nairobi Tuesday.
Speaking during a seminar on Deepening China-Africa Cooperation, Ambassador Ji Peiding, member of the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s Foreign Policy Advisory Group, said the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) will help to balance and upgrade the relationship between the two sides.
“The historic grand gathering will further strengthen solidarity and cooperation between China and Africa, upgrade China-Africa relationship and have positive impact on balanced, inclusive and sustainable development,” Ji said in a keynote address at the seminar.
Convened by the Africa Policy Institute, a think-tank involved in research on Chinese studies, the forum is examining the policy reforms required to balance the China-Africa economic relations. Peter Kagwanja from the African Policy Institute, said China has been a source of affordable finance for Africa’s rapid economic development. He said China’s involvement in trade and investment has helped to improve the value of African raw materials. Ji urged African scholars at the seminar to speak their minds and make suggestions on how to make the relationship brighter and more meaningful to both sides. “China stands ready to share advanced applicable technologies with Africa.
China supports the relocation of labour-intensive industries to Africa on a priority basis to create more jobs,” Ji told the meeting. “We should align our development so that more cooperative opportunities would deliver more benefits to both Chinese and African peoples,” he noted.
Chinese ambassador to Kenya Liu Xianfa hailed the relationship between China and Africa. Since the 1950s, the relationship led to what he described as “earth-shaking” changes in the economic relationship with Africa. Kenya’s foreign affairs Ministry Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho said the China-Kenya relationship has continued to strengthen, making Kenya Africa’s second largest beneficiary of Chinese investments. Kibicho said China has continued to invest in projects that have helped to advance economic development in Africa. “We need to unlock the supply-side constraints by enhancing infrastructure growth and investing in growth-enhancing initiatives,” Kibicho said, calling for investments to open up Africa for efficient trade. Kenya has signed at least 20 bilateral agreements covering political, financial, investment and economic sectors, Kibicho said. Those agreements have resulted into Chinese investments worth 3.5 billion U.S. dollars.
This makes Kenya the second largest beneficiary of the Chinese foreign investments. Ahead of the 15th anniversary of the FOCAC, the Chinese diplomats said the growing international stature of the Forum as a platform for collective dialogue will continue to inspire economic growth. Trade volumes between China and Africa has increased from 10 billion dollars in 2000 to 220 billion in 2014 while investments into Africa have increased from 500 million dollars to 30 billion dollars during the same period, according to Ambassador Liu. He said the Johannesburg meeting would provide a good platform to boost the relationship. “China now becomes the second biggest economy, the biggest trading country with the largest trading reserves and the third biggest investing country in the world,” Liu told the gathering.