Chinese participation in reconstruction and financial service in Angola and in agriculture in Mozambique are some of the examples outlined in the new strategic document of the Chinese government for economic and trade cooperation with Africa.
Entitled, “China-Africa Economic and Trade Cooperation,” the document was published in August by the State Council Information Office of the People’s Republic of China at a time when “relations have reached a record high.”
“Africa, a continent full of hope and thirsty for development, has become one of the world’s fastest growing regions, whilst China, the biggest developing country, has maintained its development impetus,” the document said.
After a similar document was published in 2010 this update focuses on five areas – promotion of sustainable trade development, improvement of cooperation in investment and financing, boosting cooperation in agriculture and food safety, supporting construction of African infrastructure and improving the living conditions and training of African people.
The services sector is considered “a new focus of Sino-African cooperation,” and until the end of last year direct Chinese investment in Africa totalled US$3.87 billion, which “up to a certain point made up for a lack of funds for development from local companies.”
“In the area of trade and exchange, construction of the Angola International Trade Center began, which was a joint project of Chinese and local companies and once it is finished will be the biggest commercial, logistics, convention and investments services centres in southwest Africa,” said the document.
The document also noted the Chinese contribution to construction of infrastructure, which made way for economic and trade development, giving construction of Angolan railways as an example.
Mozambique is given as an example in the area of agriculture, as it is the location of 300 hectares of experimental rice fields supported by Chinese investments. These fields had yields of between 9 and 10 tons per hectare for three years running.
Other projects for planting and processing cotton are also underway in Mozambique and neighbouring countries. These involve Chinese companies and the China-Africa Development Fund as part of a project that “was able to involve tens of thousands of local producers, effectively boosting local cotton processing skills.”
China has also supported, since 2006, the creation of 15 agricultural demonstration centres in Africa, including in Mozambique, and has plans for another seven centres.
China is currently Africa’s biggest trading partner and the biggest source of Chinese imports. (macauhub)