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China willing to negotiate FTA with African countries, organizations

Xinhua, 12 January 2006

China willing to negotiate FTA with African countries, organizations

China is willing to negotiate Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with African countries and African regional organizations when conditions are ripe, according to China’s African Policy Paper issued Thursday in Beijing.

The paper, the first of its kind issued by the Chinese government, said the Chinese government encourages and supports Chinese enterprises’ investment and business in Africa.

African countries are welcome to make investment in China and the two sides should work together to create a favorable environment for investment and cooperation and protect the legitimate rights and interests of investors from both sides, the paper said.

Efforts should be made to further develop China-Africa cooperation in the area of finance, the paper said, adding that China intends to further promote its agricultural cooperation and exchanges with African nations at various levels, through multiple channels and in various forms.

The Chinese government will step up China-Africa cooperation in transportation, communication, water conservancy, electricity and other infrastructures. It will vigorously encourage Chinese enterprises to participate in the building of infrastructure in African countries, scale up their contracts, and gradually establish multilateral and bilateral mechanisms on contractual projects.

According to the paper, the Chinese Government encourages and supports competent Chinese enterprises to cooperate with African nations in various ways on the basis of the principle of mutual benefit and common development, to develop and exploit rationally their resources, with a view to helping African countries to translate their advantages in resources to competitive strength, and realize sustainable development in their own countries and the continent as a whole.

Besides, China will grant more African countries, as they wish and as far as feasible, Approved Destination Status for outbound Chinese tourist groups.

China is ready to continue friendly consultation with some African countries with a view to seek solution to, or reduction of, the debts they owe to China. It will urge the international community, developed countries in particular, to take more substantial action on the issue of debt reduction and relief for African nations.

China will do its best to provide and gradually increase assistance to African nations with no political strings attached in light of its own financial capacity and economic situation.

China will step up cooperation with other countries and international organizations to support the development of Africa and help realize Millennium Development Goals in Africa.

The paper, composed of more than 3,000 English words, is divided into six parts, including Africa’s position and role, China’s relations with Africa, China’s African policy, enhancing all-round cooperation between China and Africa, Forum on China-Africa Cooperation and its follow-up actions, China’s relations with African regional organizations.

Among the 53 countries in Africa, 47 have established diplomatic relations with China.

 source: Xinhua