China will strengthen cooperation with African countries: MOFCOM
Published: Jan 15, 2021 02:28 AM

Zambian President Edgar Lungu (C) cuts the ribbon during the Production Commencement Ceremony of the South East Ore Body (SEOB), Nonferrous China Africa (NFCA) in Zambia's Chambishi town on Aug. 22, 2018. Chinese mining firm NFCA on Wednesday launched production work for its greenfield project in Chambishi town on the Copperbelt Province with Zambian President Edgar Lungu hailing it as an example of serious investment. (Xinhua/Vincent Chen)

In response to reports that China is focusing more on domestic development and less on Africa, a spokesperson for China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) said on Thursday that this did not conform to the actual situation. 

Strengthening solidarity and cooperation with African countries has always been an important cornerstone of China's foreign policy, said Gao Feng, spokesperson for MOFCOM, during a press conference on Thursday. At present, China-Africa trade is gradually returning to stability from the impact of COVID-19 and infrastructure cooperation is deepening, Gao said. 

Since the establishment of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in 2000, China-Africa cooperation has embarked on a fast track, delivering benefits to the people of both sides. For many years in a row, China has contributed more than 20 percent of Africa's economic growth, according to MOFCOM.

Over the past 20 years, China-Africa trade has grown 20-fold, and China has been Africa's largest trading partner for 11 consecutive years. In the past three years, China's agricultural imports from Africa have grown at an average annual rate of 14 percent, making China the second-largest importer of agricultural goods from Africa, statistics showed.

China has helped Africa to build more than 6,000 kilometers of railways and roads, 20 ports, more than 80 large power facilities, 130 medical institutions, 45 stadiums and more than 170 schools in the last two decades. Chinese companies have created more than 4.5 million jobs in Africa. China's direct investment in Africa has grown at an average annual rate of over 25 percent. 

By the end of 2019, there were more than 3,800 Chinese enterprises in Africa, with total investment of $44.4 billion, which has strongly helped Africa raise its level of industrialization and its ability to earn foreign exchange through exports, said Gao.

Currently China is building a dual circulation development mode, under which China will not only promote domestic development, but also promote common development with African countries and other countries, so as to deliver more benefits to people all over the world, Gao noted.

The spokesperson also highlighted China-Africa cooperation in fighting against COVID-19. 

"In the early days of the epidemic, some African countries provided China with a large number of anti-epidemic materials, including masks, goggles and medical gloves, which strongly supported China's fight against the epidemic. In return, China provided emergency anti-epidemic materials to African countries and sent medical teams to 16 African countries to fight the epidemic,” Gao added.
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