Remarks by H.E. Dr. Liu Xianfa, Chinese Ambassador to Kenya, at the Opening Session of the Seminar on Deepening China-Africa Cooperation

Your Honorable, Karanja Kibicho, Principal Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kenya,

Your Honorable, Amb. JI Peiding, Senior Adviser of the Foreign Policy Advisory Group of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China,

Dear Prof. Peter Kagwanja, President of the Africa Policy Institute,

Distinguished guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good Morning!

It is my great pleasure to attend today’s seminar. On behalf of the Chinese Embassy, I would like to extend my warm congratulations on the opening of the Seminar and heartfelt welcome to all the guests and scholars present today, especially those who came from afar. My thanks also go to Prof. Kagwanja and his API team for the elaborate preparation. I wish the seminar a full success.

There is a long history of friendly exchanges between China and Africa. Since 1950s when the People’s Republic of China and Africa started the formal diplomatic ties, both China and Africa have enjoyed remarkable development.

Under the leadership of the Communist Party of China, the Chinese people have made concerted efforts to bring about earth-shaking changes in China and have obtained historic achievements. Especially since China’s reform and opening up more than 30 years ago, China’s economy has annually grown at an average rate of 9.8%. China now becomes the second biggest economy, the biggest trading country with largest foreign reserve and the third biggest investing country in the world. In the first half of this year, China’s economy has increased by 7% and contributed about 30% to global growth, indicating still a major force for promoting a steady world economic growth.

In the meanwhile, we are delighted to see the splendid achievements of African countries in their endeavor to seek peace and prosperity. Since the beginning of the new century, Africa's economic growth has picked up speed. With an average annual growth rate of over 5%, Africa now ranks among the fastest growing regions in the world, commonly recognized as a major emerging global market and indeed the latest pole in global economic growth. People now see Africa as a continent full of vitality that plays a critical role in the global political and economic landscape.

These changes and developments of both China and Africa have brought about more opportunities and greater potential for China-Africa cooperation. How to untap the potential and deepen our cooperation under the new circumstance has been a very critical issue for government officials, business communities and scholars from both sides.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

This year marks the 15th anniversary of the founding of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC). It is fair to say that the past 15 years since the inception of FOCAC have witnessed not only the fast growth of China and Africa's overall national strength, international status and influence, but also the fastest development of our relations as well as the most fruitful cooperation in various areas. FOCAC has now developed into an important platform for China-Africa collective dialogue and practical cooperation and become a banner guiding China-Africa relations. The trade volume between China and Africa has increased from $10 billion in 2000 to $220 billion in 2014, while its share in Africa's total foreign trade increasing from 3.82% to 20.5%. Moreover, China's investment to Africa has sharply increased from $500 million to $30 billion during the same period.

The Summit of FOCAC, which will be held on 4-5 December in Johannesburg of South Africa, is the first of its kind to be held on African continent. It will have great and far-reaching significance for boosting comprehensive transformation and upgrading of China-Africa relations. Currently, China is stepping up economic transformation and industrial upgrading. We are pushing forward the cooperation of industrial capacity with other countries. Africa is accelerating industrialization and regional integration. The development strategies of both sides are highly complementary. China and Africa meet each others' demand, enjoy respective competitive edges and provide opportunities to each other. This means there is large potential for our cooperation. The FOCAC summit will provide a historical opportunity to further strengthen mutually beneficial cooperation in five prioritized areas including industrialization, agricultural modernization, health, people-to-people exchanges and peace and security.

As one of the important preparatory activities for the Summit, today we are gathered here to discuss and study how to deepen China-Africa cooperation, especially on infrastructure, industrialization and other prioritized areas between the two sides. All the guests and scholars present here have long been committed to China-Africa friendship. I sincerely hope all of you may fully express your views on the topics of the seminar, offer some insights for the incoming Summit and contribute your share to the future of China-Africa cooperation. Once again, I wish the seminar a full success. Thank you!

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