From Adetutu Folasade-Koyi, Shanghai
The People’s Republic of China has set zero tariff for imported products from African countries.
China’s Deputy Director General of Department on Africa Affairs, in the Ministry of Finance, Ambassador Dai Bing, who disclosed this yesterday, also added that in its intensive development programme for the continent, “China’s opening of the door is just the beginning for African countries. We started with four provinces: Shantou; Chenzhen; Xiamen and Zhuhai.
“If it succeeds, it can expand to other areas but, if it doesn’t, the negative effect can be curtailed and we have chosen some African countries for industrial cooperation: Nigeria; Congo-Brazzaville, Ethiopia and others.
“If it succeeds, we will expand but, again, if it fails, it will be limited to that specific area because China is still a developing country.”
He also spoke of The Green Cooperation for China and Africa.
“There’s always pollution in Beijing. Three days ago, there was pollution in Beijing but, it was quickly contained. Every time we visit Africa, we like your green mountains and clean water. We don’t want to bring pollution to Africa…”
Dai added that China already has a 10 Action-Plan for and with Africa.
They include industrialisation, agriculture modernisation, infrastructure, financial services, development trade and investment facilities (which will centre mostly on promotion of African trade in China), poverty alleviation (Dai made reference to China’s poverty alleviation programme, which he said has already taken 730 million people out of poverty, with only 50 poor people remaining.
He also added that China hoped to get rid of poverty in five years and share its experience in poverty alleviation with Nigeria), public health (in this regard, Dai said China has good medication for malaria eradication, which Nigeria can benefit from) and lastly, peace and security.”
With regards to the Forum of China and Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), the deputy director general added that the 10 action plan was closely linked with Africa’s 2063 development agenda which the country had already keyed into. This, he said, was agreed at a summit in Johannesburg, South Africa, in 2015.
“At the summit, our President announced the 10 point agenda mission plan between China and Africa. And this 10 point cooperation plan has closed relations with your agenda 2063. “We have started deeply on the 2063 agenda. We know the priority and the directions of the African continent. So, in our cooperation plan, the priority is industralisation and agriculture and these are also the priority of the African continent. And, the Chinese government also promised $60 billion, as supporting fund, for our cooperation.
I have to say that this $60 billion funding support is not only the cash. So, in this $60 billion, only $5 billion is used for non-interest loans or $8 billion for the next three years.
“They are based on an allbeneficial principle, to help African countries promote their living standards and capability-building. And, the other $35 billion is a beneficial loan…with $20 billion as capital. All the money will be invested in programmed and they will be based on profits and sustainable development of many years of improvement of infrastructure and assistance in Africa; to help improve their business environment…
“The aim for this cooperation is the social and economical efficiency of the project and the sustainability of the project. That is from the long term of our cooperation and we are here to learn two principles; the first principle is that any country which wishes to absorb any foreign investment must have sound funds and complete laws and regulations and fair environment for law enforcement which would ensure that investors feel safe.
“It must have beneficial/proficient policies to ensure investors feel pleased to make profit. It must have light efficient and practical one-stop government services to make investors feel comfortable…”