Chinese, African entrepreneurs gather in Egypt to push economic cooperation
Published: Nov 07, 2009 10:25 PM Updated: May 25, 2011 01:05 PM

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and Egyptian Prime Minister Ahmed Nazef will open the third Conference of Chinese and African Entrepreneurs in Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh on Saturday evening.

African ministers of trade, industry, commerce and international cooperation will attend the meeting, together with hundreds of representatives from Chinese and African companies, aiming at opening new horizons for economic cooperation between China and Africa.

This conference is one of a series of meetings held prior to the fourth ministerial meeting of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) scheduled for Nov. 8-9.

Saturday's meeting represents a great opportunity for African companies to establish joint cooperation in various fields with Chinese companies, Egyptian Minister of Trade and Industry Rachid Mohamed Rachid said in a statement issued prior to the meeting.

The Chinese government attaches great importance to furthering economic cooperation with the African continent to develop an African position towards the issues of liberalization of trade of processed agricultural products, he said.

According to the statement, the opening session of the meeting would deal with cooperation between China and Africa in the areas of trade, investment, infrastructure, renewable energy with speeches of representatives from China and Africa, as well as discussions to lay out a vision for ways to implement projects in Africa in these areas.

The first session of the meeting will comprise a plenary session on how to enhance China-Africa cooperation in the field of finance, investment, infrastructure and renewable energy.

Mohamed el-Masry, head of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce Union, and Wan Jifei, chairman of China International Trade Promotion Committee will deliver a speech during the meeting.

On the sidelines of the meeting, several agreements and contracts are expected to be inked among Chinese and African enterprises, covering the areas of agriculture, energy, transport and infrastructure, said the statement.

Highlights in the upcoming meeting include a cooperation project in Ethiopia, covering the fields of transport, communication and training, and a framework agreement for joint cooperation in Cameroon in the area of agricultural development, which embodies the cultivation of 10,000 hectares with a capital of 12 million US dollars, according to the statement.

The first China-Africa Business Conference was held in December 2003, prior the second FOCAC ministerial conference in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia.

Nearly 500 Chinese and African entrepreneurs attended the conference. Contracts of 16 cooperation projects were signed, and letters of intention for cooperation in 15 projects were also inked, to the tune of 500 million dollars.

The business conference created a successful precedent for contacts and exchanges between Chinese and African entrepreneurs. As a result, both sides decided to list the business conference as a major component of the FOCAC and to hold it simultaneously with the ministerial conference in the future.

During the 2nd Conference of Chinese and African Entrepreneurs concluded in Beijing in 2006, 16 cooperative agreements were signed between 12 Chinese enterprises and African governments and firms, worth of nearly 1.9 billion dollars in total. 

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