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China to Promote Financial Co-op between Asia and Africa
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China and Africa will strengthen financial cooperation, said governor of the People's Bank of China Zhou Xiaochuan at a ministerial round-table prior to the annual meeting of the African Development Bank (ADB) Tuesday.

The financial sector is an important field for cooperation between China and Africa, said ADB governor Donald Kaberuka.

A day earlier, China approved the establishment of the China-Africa Development Fund, with funding of US$1 billion. Funding will rise to US$3 billion in the second phase and then to five billion dollars.

"Economic cooperation between Asia and Africa has a huge potential and a bright future," Zhou said. "We will take a more active part in building infrastructure in Africa and support the development of the financial sector."

Saying Africa was a solid destination for investment and trade and that Africa and Asia are highly complementary, Zhou proposed four measures to promote financial cooperation between Asia and Africa.

China will further exchange with African countries experience in pushing forward financial reform and opening-up, improving the environment for the financial industry and regulating financial markets.

The nation will encourage domestic enterprises to increase investment in Africa.

Chinese financial institutions will be encouraged to actively explore business in Africa, take part in more infrastructure construction projects on the continent and provide financial services.

Meanwhile, African financial institutions are welcome to launch branches and offices in China.

China will improve cooperation with multilateral financial institutions, including the African Development Bank, the Eastern and Southern African Trade and Development Bank and the West African Development Bank, and support poverty relief and development in Africa.

China is a key investor for African countries who are hungry for foreign investment, said Charles Chikaura, chief executive officer of the Zimbabwe infrastructure development bank.

Statistics show that China had invested US$11.7 billion in Africa by the end of 2006, mainly in infrastructure construction.

(Xinhua News Agency May 16, 2007)

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