Xi boost business ties with Africa

September 4, 2018 - China will provide $60 billion in government assistance and investment to Africa, Chinese President Xi Jinping announced at the 2018 Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in Beijing on Monday.

This includes $15 billion in grants, interest-free loans and concessional loans, $20 billion of credit lines, the setting up of a $10-billion special fund for development financing and a $5-billion special fund for financing imports from Africa. Chinese companies are also encouraged to make at least $10 billion of investment in Africa in the next three years. 

Xi also underlined China's support for African countries to join the Belt and Road Initiative. A China-Africa economic and trade expo will be held in China, and a number of economic and trade cooperation zones in Africa will be built or upgraded. Xi specifically pledged support for Chinese companies that adopt an investment-construction-operation model in infrastructure projects. He said China will work with Africa to boost infrastructure such as the Mombasa-Nairobi Standard Gauge Railway in Kenya and the Maputo-Catembe Bridge in Mozambique.

Additionally, Xi plans to import more non-resource products from Africa and to increase security programs for fighting pirates and terrorists. 

Over 50 African leaders gathered for the event. Xi said that his nation follows a "five-no" approach in its relations with Africa: no interference in African countries' pursuit of development paths that fit their national conditions; no interference in their internal affairs; no imposition of China's will on them; no attachment of political strings to assistance and no seeking of selfish political gains in investment and financing cooperation. "China follows the principle of giving more and taking less, giving before taking and giving without asking for return," Xi said.

Africa makes up more than one-sixth of the global population: China and Africa are home to roughly 2.6 billion people, making up 35 percent of the world's population.
Source: Maritime Executive