Chinese Ambassador to Kenya H.E. Dr. Liu Xianfa's Article Themed "Steady Development of China,Great Opportunities for Kenya" Published on Daily Nation and The Standard

The following article written by H.E. Dr. Liu Xianfa, Chinese Ambassador to Kenya, was published respectively on The Standardand Daily Nation on 23rdand 24thMarch 2016.


Steady Development of China

Great Opportunities for Kenya

By H. E. Dr. Liu Xianfa


Over the past two weeks, the whole world shed light on China. The just concluded China's “Two Sessions” has become an important channel for the outside world to observe the trend and influence of the “China” economic giant ship. The “Two Sessions” did not let the world down. The 13th Five-Year Plan has brought new opportunities for China’s win-win cooperation with the world, adding confidence and hope to the global economy.

In the past year, the global economy stepped into a “new mediocre era”, lacking inspiring and exciting highlights with the growth rate dropping to a new low in the previous 6 years. However, the “China” economic giant ship ploughed the waves and marched forward and contributed over 25% to the world economic growth rate. China’s economy has entered the “new normal”, which can be demonstrated in the following 3 aspects.

First is the growth change. Last year, China's GDP growth was 6.9%, a bit down compared with the past, but this was based on the total amount of $10 trillion. At present, every 1% GDP growth equals 1.5% of that five years ago and 2.5% of that ten years ago.

Second is the structure improvement. Service industry has become the largest sector in the national economy, taking up 50.5% in the total GDP. Consumption contributes 66.4% to the economic growth rate.

Third is the power transformation. New industries, new forms and new modes grow rapidly, while new growth drivers rise fast. In the year 2015, China's newly registered enterprises grew by 21.6% in 2015, with a growth of 12000 a day on average. Mass entrepreneurship and innovation become more and more popular.

Last week, the “Two Sessions” just approved the 13th Five-Year Plan, which clearly marks the major direction and key areas of China's future economic development, and will lead China's economy to sail steadily and further. In the next five years, China will implement the developmental concepts of innovation, coordination, green, open and sharing, and paint a new blueprint for China’s progress.

First, the economy will maintain a medium-high rate of growth. To finish building a moderately prosperous society in all respects and double the 2010 GDP and per capita personal income by 2020, the economy will grow at an average annual rate of at least 6.5% during this five-year period.

Second, ensure that innovation better drives and energizes development and promote the development of industries toward the medium-high end. China will significantly increase advanced manufacturing, modern services, and strategic emerging industries as a proportion of GDP, promote the extensive application of big data, cloud computing and the Internet of Things, and move faster to transform China into a manufacturer of advanced and quality products. By 2020, the contribution of scientific and technological advances toward economic growth should come to reach 60%.

Third, make progress in new urbanization and agricultural modernization as well as in balancing development between urban and rural areas and between regions. China will advance the new, people-centered urbanization. By 2020, permanent urban residents should account for 60% of China's population, and 45% of the Chinese people should be registered as permanent urban residents. China will also expand major infrastructure projects, with the aim of increasing the length of high-speed railways in service to 30,000 kilometers and linking more than 80% of big cities in China with high-speed railways, building or upgrading around 30,000 kilometers of expressways, and achieving full coverage of access to broadband networks in both urban and rural areas.

Fourth, deepen reform and opening up to create new institutions for development. China will further deepen reform across the board, uphold and improve the basic economic system, establish a modern system of property rights, and see that a rule of law government is basically in place. It should be ensured that the market plays the decisive role in resource allocation and the government better plays its role, and work should be accelerated to create the systems, mechanisms, and growth model that will guide the new normal in economic development.

Fifth, ensure that that all the Chinese people share in the fruits of development. During the period of the 13th Five-Year Plan, China will lift out of poverty all rural residents falling below the current poverty line, establish more equitable and sustainable social security systems, create 50 million plus new urban jobs, reduce the income gap, increase the proportion of the middle-income group in the whole populace, achieve a one-year increase in average life expectancy, and build a modern system of public cultural services.

China’s economy has entered a “new normal” and opened another five-year journey, which bring new opportunities to the development of the African countries, including Kenya. It is estimated that in the next five years, China will import goods worth $10 trillion and invest over $500 billion overseas. At the same time, outbound visits made by Chinese people will exceed 500 million. We are willing to work together with the African countries to share opportunities, promote win-win cooperation, and realize the dreams of the African people.

China will continue to increase investment in Africa and help the African countries to build up capacity for attracting investment. During theJohannesburg Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), Chinese President H. E. Xi Jinping announced that China will provide $60 billion to support “10 major cooperation plans” with Africa. This is designed to help Africa address the bottlenecks holding back their development namely inadequate infrastructure, lack of professional and skilled personal and funding issues, create better environment for more investment, and help Africa’s economy take off.

China will further deepen industrial capacity cooperation with Kenya and other African countries, and accelerate Africa’s industrialization. China possesses technology and equipment while Africa is blessed with markets and resources. Both sides should integrate each other’s developmental strategies and complement each other’s advantages. We shall not only give you fish but also teach you to fish. China will continue to boost industrial capacity cooperation with the African countries, help them improve self-development capacity and build up their own industrialized systems, so as to let them provide the world with more and better products “made in Africa” and fulfill Africa’s modernization.

China will continue to enhance trade cooperation with Africa and provide Africa’s development with vast markets. Since 2009, China has always been Africa’s largest trade partner, with both sides’ trade volume having exceeded $200 billion. In future, China will remain a key buyer and consumer of Africa’s goods. China’s economic development will definitely provide broader markets for the bulk commodities produced by the African countries.

Kenya has every capacity to be the pioneer and model of China-Africa cooperation. Kenya is among the first African countries with which China is carrying out infrastructure, information and industrial cooperation. In 2015, China-Kenya bilateral trade reached over $6 billion, growing by 20% of in two consecutive years. China’s non non-financial direct investment and contracted projects in Kenya are respectively ranked No. 1 and No. 2 in Africa. China-Kenya cooperation has enormous space and broad prospects in the future.

In the era of the new normal, the giant ship of China’s economy is sailing forward with passion and confidence. Africa, especially Kenya, will benefit more from the new bonuses and opportunities created by China’s transformation and development. China and Africa, China and Kenya should further enhance cooperation, so as to jointly accomplish the “Chinese Dream”, Africa’s “Agenda 2063” and Kenya’s “Vision 2030”, and bring benefits to the Chinese, African and Kenyan peoples.

(The author is Chinese Ambassador to Kenya.)

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