Twenty agreements were signed in Addis Ababa Tuesday with a total value of US$460 million, involving 17 Chinese companies and at least 17 African ones.
Signed in the afternoon's grand contract signing ceremony, the agreements with 19 contracts and one letter of intention covered range from engineering construction, pharmaceuticals, industrial chemicals and textile.
The ceremony was arranged by the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade during the China-Africa Business Conference opening on Sunday. The business conference, first of its kind, attracted more than 400 entrepreneurs representing leading Chinese and African companies.
Aimed at promoting direct exchanges and cooperation between Chinese and African entrepreneurs, it is jointly held by China and Ethiopia on Dec. 14-16, in parallel with the Second Ministerial Meeting of the China-Africa Cooperation Forum.
The latest official statistics indicate that trade between China and Africa had increased to US$12.39 billion in 2002 from US$10.6 billion in 2000, and the figure for the first nine months of 2003 is US$13.39 billion, surpassing that of the whole 2002.
Chinese investors have already established 602 businesses in 49 African countries, covering such areas as trade, industry, and agriculture.
Africans, including those from South Africa and Uganda, have also had their investment in China.
(Xinhua News Agency December 17, 2003)