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Expo highlights China-Africa cooperation

|China Daily|2019-06-28 14:28:50

Provinces and cities have contributed to range of investment, healthcare, green energy, education, culture and other initiatives to enrich multilateral partnerships

The ongoing China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo is providing opportunities for provinces in China to expand cooperation with Africa in more sectors.

The three-day expo opened on Thursday in Changsha, capital of Central China's Hunan province. It includes conferences, forums and exhibitions to showcase achievements and opportunities of China-Africa economic and trade collaborations.

The expo is co-organized by the Ministry of Commerce and the Hunan provincial government, paving ways for provinces in the country to have more cooperation with Africa.

China has been the largest trade partner of Africa for 10 consecutive years. Sino-African trade grew 20 percent year-on-year to reach $204.2 billion in 2018, said Qian Keming, vice-minister of commerce at a news conference in early June.

Over the last few years, the China-Africa cooperation can be seen on the map of China.

For example, Jilin province in northeastern China has established trade exchanges with its counterparts in Africa in the auto part and rubber tire sectors. Companies in East China's Fujian province have made investment in African countries including Egypt and Seychelles. Gansu province in Northwest China has offered its desertification control technology to Kenya.

Hunan province has deepened exchange and cooperation with Africa in fields such as medical aid and hybrid rice through the expo.

Henan province has set up six medical stations in African countries by 2018, including Eritrea, Ethiopia and Zambia, with a total of 62 medical staffers.

It has also helped them to construct six diagnosis and tele-consultation centers, according to Henan Daily.

Known as a birthplace of Chinese culture, Henan province has also extended its cooperation with Africa in education, culture and technology.

According to Henan Daily, in 2013, Henan province supported construction of the Confucius Institute in Tanzania in East Africa through collaborating with Zhengzhou University of Aeronautics in Henan. To date, the institute has set up 15 teaching stations and has more than 15,500 students.

"I feel I have settled in Henan and like the place more and more," said an overseas student from Africa in the university.

Tebian Electric Apparatus Stock, also known as TBEA, one of China's leading transformer producers in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, has built a transformer substation in Africa, in a bid to offer electric power resources to the country.

As a major participant in the Belt and Road Initiative, Africa is also an investment destination for entrepreneurs, especially those from Guangdong province.

Official data showed that imports and exports between Guangdong province and Africa amounted to 249.4 billion yuan ($36.28 billion) in 2017.

By the end of 2017, 244 companies from Guangdong had operated in Africa, according to the province's commerce bureau.

Local officials said entrepreneurs of these companies have explored new cooperation modes, and have continued to make upgrades in investment and industry.

Huajian Group, a Chinese shoemaker headquartered in Dongguan, Guangdong province, built a factory in Ethiopia in 2011.

"A company should not only have a domestic production base, but also need to set up a parallel abroad," Zhang Huarong, chairman of the group, told Nanfang Metropolis Daily.

In addition, to aid in solving the problem of the shortage of local drinking water, a team from the Africa station of Hubei province's geological environment terminus has spent about 20 years digging wells for locals.

To date, the team has dug more than 4,600 wells and has completed over 20 water supply projects in Africa's urban areas, which helps nearly 8 million people solve difficulties in drinking water. 

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