Trade show in Changsha aims to further economic ties between China and continent
The first China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo, running from June 27 to 29 in Changsha, Hunan province, will promote Sino-African cooperation in fields such as trade, agriculture, investment and finance, infrastructure construction and cooperative industrial zone development.
A number of deals will be signed during the expo related to agriculture, manufacturing, infrastructure and the building of trade and economic cooperation zones, said Qian Keming, vice-minister of commerce, in a press conference held in early June.
African countries have seen the inaugural China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo as an ideal platform to expand trade ties with China.
Left: Employees work at a ceramic production factory, which was set up by a Chinese investor, in Africa. Right: Staff members from a Zambia jewelry company introduce their products to media at the first China International Import Expo in 2018. Xinhua
"The first China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo will serve as an excellent platform for the Mauritian operators to showcase their products, establish new leads, and identify business partnerships with more than 800 Chinese companies ahead of the signature of the Mauritius-China Free Trade Agreement," said Hans Seesaghur, China desk officer at Economic Development Board of Mauritius.
Mauritius will have a 64-square-meter pavilion to showcase Mauritian rum, handicraft, local specialties and various services offered in the financial sector, according to Seesaghur.
Experts from Zambia have lauded China for investing in trade expos. They urged African countries to investigate and exploit available business opportunities in China and beyond to encourage investment in both Africa and China.
"It will be useful to open up many trade opportunities with China through attending these expos that China holds from time to time," said Yusuf Dodia, chairperson of Private Sector Development Association in Zambia. "This will help strengthen bilateral trade ties."
Rwandan agriculture company Gashora Farm said exhibitions in China present many opportunities for African goods to access the huge Chinese market.
The company secured a half-year contract worth $2 million to supply chili oil to a Chinese food factory last November during the first China International Import Expo.
"From the previous Chinese expo, I have been inspired to think big. I am now positioning myself to produce for export and infiltrate big markets," said Dieudonne Twahirwa, managing director of Gashora Farm, which will take part in the first China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo.
"The Chinese market is important as China is Africa's major trading partner," he added.
China has been the top global trade partner with Africa for 10 years in a row. The value of exports and imports between China and Africa reached $204.2 billion in 2018, an increase of 20 percent year-on-year. China has exported more high-tech products and imported more non-natural resource goods from Africa.
More than 3,700 Chinese companies had set up branches in Africa by the end of 2018, bringing over $46 billion to the continent.
Chinese financial institutions have set up over 10 branches in Africa, and eight African countries such as South Africa have included the renminbi in their foreign exchange reserves, according to Qian.
Chinese companies actively participate in supporting infrastructure construction in Africa and have carried out many projects in port, aviation, power plant and railway transport.
The first China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo will cover 43,000 square meters. An online fair will also be launched and so will an exhibition hall established for the long-term exhibition and sales of African quality products.
Launched under the framework of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, the expo will establish a new mechanism for economic and trade cooperation between China and African countries.