By Ye Lu
It has always been a cornerstone of China’s independent foreign peace policy and one of China’s strong and long-term strategic choices to strengthen unity and cooperation with African countries.
No matter how the international vicissitude evolves, China still stands wholeheartedly alongside African countries and partners with them to continue to deepen Sino-African relations.
Since 2020, due to the rapid explosion of Covid-19, the considerable drop in the price of bulk commodities, the acceleration of the reconstruction of international industrial chains and other factors, economic and social development Africa has encountered many challenges, and the Sino-African economy and trade cooperation has also been affected.
The partnership between China and Africa has come in handy when China was in the most difficult moment in its fight against Covid-19. African countries offered invaluable support and when the pandemic broke out in Africa, China was on hand to provide emergency anti-pandemic supplies to nearly all African countries and the African Union.
It has sent medical teams to 16 African countries, organized six anti-pandemic videoconferences between Chinese and African medical experts and set up counterpart cooperation mechanisms with 46 hospitals in 42 countries.
As Africa’s largest trading partner, China is among the countries whose trade with Africa has experienced the smallest decline in absolute terms. In this sense, China has adopted positive measures and taken the initiative to increase its imports from Africa.
By speeding up the review and approval procedures for access to agricultural products, feed sorghum in Nigeria, fresh blueberries in Zambia, soybeans in Tanzania and other products have been approved to enter the Chinese market.
China attaches great importance to the challenges caused by Covid-19 to African countries and is actively implementing the G20 Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI). China currently ranks first among G20 member countries that have implemented DSSIs by suspending $ 1,353 million in debt service payments from 23 countries, including $ 817 million in debt service payments. 15 African countries. China and Tanzania have signed the DSSI agreement for 2020 and are currently discussing the suspension of debt service by June 2021.
China and Africa have long been in a community of inseparable and shared interests and future. A series of measures announced at previous conferences have enabled China-Africa economic and trade cooperation to develop in leaps and bounds, which has benefited both China and Africa.
The level of trade has improved considerably. Over the past 20 years, Sino-African trade has grown 20-fold. In 2019, the volume of trade between China and Africa reached $ 208.7 billion, up 2.2% from to the general trend, ranking first among Africa’s major trading partners. China has been Africa’s largest trading partner for 11 consecutive years. Over the past three years, China’s imports of agricultural products from Africa have grown at an average annual rate of 14 percent. At present, China has become the second largest importer of agricultural products from Africa, and more than 350 types of agricultural and food products can now be imported into China.
Industrial investment has been more integrated. Since 2003, China’s direct investment in Africa has grown at an average annual rate of over 25%. According to the World Investment Report 2020 of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, from 2014 to 2018, China’s investment stock in Africa increased by more than 40%.
By the end of 2019, China had established more than 3,800 enterprises of various types in Africa with a total investment stock of $ 44.4 billion, which greatly helped Africa to improve its level of industrialization, capacity industrial support and its ability to earn money. currencies through exports.
The integration of African countries is accelerating significantly with the rise of emerging industries and Sino-African cooperation in the face of broad development prospects. China is considering a Sino-African cooperation project from a strategic and long-term perspective with a view to consolidating the basis of cooperation by joining forces to improve the level of engagement.
The author is a news commentator and submitted this article from Beijing, China.