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China to Take Measures to Further Sino-African Cooperation

The Chinese government is expected to put forward new measures to promote cooperation with African countries during the upcoming China-Africa Cooperation Forum meeting, said Du Qiwen, director of the Department of African Affairs of the Chinese Foreign Ministry.  

The new measures will include expanding China-Africa cooperation in exploring human resources, facilitating African countries' exports to China, and increasing exchanges in the fields of tourism, culture and personnel, Du told a press conference.


The second ministerial-level meeting of China-Africa Cooperation Forum is due to be held in Addis-Ababa, capital of Ethiopia, Dec. 15-16. According to Du, the ministers in charge of foreign affairs and trade from 47 members of the organization will take part in the meeting.


Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao will be present at the opening ceremony, and deliver a speech, and 10 leaders from African countries, as well as representatives from international and regional organizations, will also join the meeting, he said.


Du said that the main task of this meeting is to review the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and the program for China-Africa cooperation in economic and social development, two documents that were passed during the first ministerial-level meeting.


Meanwhile, the participants will discuss cooperation in key fields such as agriculture and human resources, and the prospects for development and exchanges in the future.


An action plan on the specific steps for cooperation between China and Africa over the next three years is expected to be passed during the meeting.


In order to help exchanges among the entrepreneurs, and between entrepreneurs and officials, a China-Africa business conference will be held, said Du.


The China-Africa Cooperation Forum, known as the Ministerial Conference Beijing 2000, was held here in October 2000. Sino-African cooperation has expanded since 2000, covering agriculture, resources and trade. In addition, Chinese entrepreneurs have invested in 49 African nations.


The bilateral trade volumes between China and Africa have exceeded US$10 billion-worth over the past three years, and are expected to exceed US$15 billion-worth in 2003.


Yang Lihua, a researcher at the Institute of West Asian and African Studies of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said that in the next 20 years China faces a strategic opportunity for development, and so do Africa and Sino-African relations.


The China-Africa Cooperation Forum offers a platform for the two sides to achieve common prosperity, she said.


Yang Gongyuan, president of the African Affairs Research Society of China, said that promoting political cooperation in major international areas has long been the top priority for Sino-African cooperation, and economic and trade cooperation will become another focal point in the near future.


Ethiopian Foreign Minister Seyoum Mesfin said that the China-Africa Cooperation Forum has brought dynamism to the African continent, and that he believed that the forum would further advance the cooperation between the two sides.


He said that Ethiopia is fully prepared for the upcoming meeting.


(Xinhua News Agency November 30, 2003)

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