2021 China-Africa Private Sector Cooperation Forum opens in Changsha
Gao Yunlong stressed that the economic and trade cooperation should be regarded as the cornerstone of China-Africa relations in the new era.
With the theme of “Opportunities and Challenges of China-Africa Private Sector Cooperation under the New Circumstances”, the 2021 China-Africa Private Sector Cooperation Forum, co-hosted by All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce (ACFIC) and Hunan Provincial People’s Government, was held in Changsha, Hunan, on September 27, 2021. Gao Yunlong, vice chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) and chairman of ACFIC, and Mao Weiming, governor of the People’s Government of Hunan Province, attended the forum and delivered speeches. Mr. Baidy Agny, first vice president of Senegal’s Economic, Social, and Environmental Council, addressed the forum via video. Li Weiwei, Chairman of the CPPCC of Hunan Province, also attended the forum, which was presided over by Qiu Xiaoping, vice chairman of ACFIC.
Gao Yunlong mentioned that Chinese President Xi Jinping proposed eight major initiatives at the opening ceremony of the 2018 Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation on September 3, 2018. Over the past three years, China-Africa cooperation has deepened and yielded rich fruits. In the face of the sudden impact of COVID-19, China-Africa cooperation has been still forging ahead against the wind, demonstrating its strong resilience and vitality. At present, Chinese private enterprises’ investment in Africa is booming and shows trends of extending to the high end of the value chain, expanding to the emerging industries, and transforming into multi-stakeholder cooperation and bilateral cooperation, which has played a significant role in promoting economic development, increasing employment and improving the people’s livelihood in African countries.
Gao stressed that despite unprecedented setbacks in the global economy and severe challenges to the international order and global governance system, there was no fundamental change in the trend toward a multi-polar world, and economic globalization was irreversible. The call for upholding multilateralism and enhancing communication and coordination is still the common aspiration of most countries. China has achieved the goal of building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects and embarked on a new journey to fully build a modern socialist country. Major strategies such as the establishment of the African Continental Free Trade Area were implemented smoothly, and significant progress was made in the integrated construction. In the face of new opportunities and challenges, we should regard economic and trade cooperation as the cornerstone of building China-Africa relations in the new era, improve the working mechanism, continue to optimize the development environment, vigorously promote trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, fully stimulate new cooperation potential of Chinese and African private enterprises, promote the high-quality and sustainable development of economic and trade investment and cooperation, and achieve win-win cooperation. Chinese and African private enterprises should actively explore new ways of investment and cooperation, explore new space for investment and cooperation, continue to put effort into industrial promotion, infrastructure construction and other traditional areas of expertise, and strive to make achievements in the field of new economy. Private enterprises should adhere to the principle of pursuing the greater good and shared interests with higher priority given to the former, implement the principles of extensive consultation, joint contributions and shared benefits, uphold openness, integrity and environmental friendliness, abide by the laws, regulations and religious customs of their host countries, and take an active part in local green development, job security, public welfare and charity work in order to bring more tangible benefits to both Chinese and African people.
Mr. Baidy Agny mentioned that over the past 20 years, the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation had served as a platform for the economic and trade cooperation between China and Africa. At the initiative of the African Union and regional organizations, the whole African continent has coordinated national policies, improved the business environment, and adopted legal norms in line with international standards. Such progress will continue to provide new opportunities for inclusive growth and investment, as evidenced by the African Union’s Agenda 2063 and the launch of the African Continental Free Trade Area. Africa has found new directions in digital transformation, climate economy, natural resource governance and demographic dividend. It has many advantages to attract private investment. We hope that Chinese private investors will discover Africa from a new perspective, work with African governments, and build strategic alliances and business partnerships with African private sector. The future of China-Africa partnership lies in Chinese enterprises’ participation in the upgrading of Africa’s productive capacity, the natural resource processing industry, and the connectivity of Africa’s internal market with the rest of the world. Various investment projects are needed to leverage Africa’s advantages, promote technological exchanges, and further promote cooperation between Chinese and African enterprises.
Mao Weiming pointed out that the exchanges and cooperation between Hunan and Africa had a long history. Entering the new era, Hunan will implement the Belt and Road Initiative proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping, carry out the special campaign of “Connecting with the New Silk Road and Going Global”, promote private enterprises such as Sany Group, SUNWARD, and Yuan Longping High-Tech Agriculture Co., Ltd. to deeply explore Africa, and create a case for Hunan manufacturing to participate in the Belt and Road construction and international cooperation in production capacity.
Mao said that Hunan would earnestly implement the spirit of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s important speech during his visit to Hunan, adhere to the principle of pursuing the greater good and shared interests with higher priority given to the former and the concept of sincerity, practical results, affinity and good faith, continue to promote the China-Africa and Hunan-Africa private economic cooperation, and encourage the private sector to contribute to the implementation of the “Three Highlands and Four New Missions” strategy and the construction of a modern new Hunan. Hunan will build a new platform for economic and trade exchanges, make the China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo more practical, establish the Pilot Zone for In-depth China-Africa Economic and Trade Cooperation, and develop new cooperation platforms such as the China-Africa Cross-Border RMB Center, so as to promote unimpeded trade, financial integration and flow of factors of production between China and Africa. Hunan will build a new link of regional connectivity, participate deeply in the joint building of the Belt and Road between China and Africa, promote the construction of rail-sea and river-sea passages and air freight routes to Africa, promote multimodal transport and infrastructure connectivity, and develop a convenient, efficient and cost-effective modern logistics system. Hunan will cultivate new advantages of industrial cooperation, combine Africa’s advantages in resources and market with Hunan’s manufacturing and industrial advantages, deepen its efforts in the fields of construction machinery and modern agriculture, expand new forms of business such as the digital economy and the clean energy, and jointly foster new drivers of development. Hunan will create a new environment for win-win cooperation, promote government interaction, strengthen planning and guarantee of the factors of production, implement the “Six Ones” work plan for promoting the development of the private sector, and strive to create a market-oriented, law-based and international business environment to promote steady and long-term development of economic and trade cooperation between Hunan and Africa.
At the opening ceremony of the forum, Wu Peng, director general of the Department of African of the Foreign Ministry, Xie Yajing, first-class inspector of the Department of West Asian and African Affairs of the Ministry of Commerce, made speeches respectively. Wang Licheng, chairman of the China-Africa Business Council and chairman of Holley Group, launched the Report on Chinese Investment in Africa.
Lin Yifu, director of the Institute of New Structural Economics of Peking University, Rahamtalla Mohamed Osman Elnor, African Union Representative to China, Kipyego Cheluget, assistant secretary general of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, Yi Xiaogang, director, chief executive and chief engineer of Sany Group, and Domingo Mba Esono, vice minister of Commerce and SME Promotion of Equatorial Guinea, delivered speeches at the forum.
During the dialogue session of the forum, representatives of Chinese and foreign research institutions and enterprises had in-depth discussions on the theme of “Focusing on China-Africa Cooperation in Medicine and Public Heath, New Trends and Opportunities in Digital Economy and E-Commerce”, including Xu Xiangping, chairman of China-Africa Economic and Trade Promotion Council, Wang Zhibang, chairman of Anhui Biochem United Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., Jin Huayue, CEO of Hangzhou Xiteng Technology Co., Ltd., Li Ning, vice president of BGI Group, Wang Ke, general manager of KiKUU, Hannah Ryder, Former UNDP China Deputy Representative and CEO of Development Reimagined, and Sandrine Nduwimana,Director of International Liaison Department of China-Africa Business Council.
More than 150 representatives from Chinese and African government departments, international organizations, research institutes and private enterprises attended the forum.