Archive for ‘africa’


Belt and Road Economic Information Partnership to build info bridge

BEIJING, June 28 (Xinhua) – Set to build an “information bridge” for the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) construction, attendees of the Belt and Road Economic Information Partnership (BREIP) in Beijing believed it would reduce the “information deficit” between countries.

The partnership, designed to eliminate information asymmetry in implementing the BRI, offers demonstration, guidance and services to participants of the BRI, and create a new platform for international cooperation.

The platform of BRInfo, operated and maintained by China Economic Information Service (CEIS) under Xinhua News Agency, allows BREIP members to share information and conduct cooperation.

Alfred Schipke, IMF Senior Resident Representative for China, said it would be important to strengthen policy frameworks and foster capacity development in China and in partner countries.

“The effective sharing of information will be more and more important. Here, the BREIP could be a key platform,” Schipke said.

New commercial opportunities will surely be created with information from professional institutions and needs of enterprises brought together, so as to promote mutual understanding, said Liu Zhengrong, vice president of Xinhua News Agency.

The BREIP, offering news service and information assurance, has provided a platform of news and economic information for countries and regions to expand cooperation, noted Marat Abulkhatin, first deputy chief editor of TASS Russian News Agency.

Domestic information reports growing significance now in global market, and under the BRInfo mechanism, news agencies can help to further eliminate information asymmetry, said Raphael Juan, director of markets at Brazilian CMA News Agency.

Polish government and enterprises look forward to better understanding different market situations and making better decisions with the economic information shared on the BREIP, said Ryszard Marcin Nizewski, product director with Polish Press Agency.

The BRI has made great contributions to international trade and the international economy, and its achievements have far exceeded expectations. It is believed that the BREIP will also become a multi-faceted cooperation tool, according to Dzmitry Prymshyts, deputy director for Research and Innovation of the Institute of Economics of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus.

This platform could decrease the “information deficit” between countries while growing into a timely, objective and solid source of information, Prymshyts said.

The BREIP, established in Beijing on Thursday, was initiated by Xinhua News Agency and co-founded by more than 30 institutions including well-known news agencies, information service providers, research institutions, chambers of commerce and associations from more than 20 countries and regions in Asia, Europe, Africa, Latin America and Oceania.

Source: Xinhua


Xinhua Headlines: China-Africa trade expo to forge closer economic partnership

Xinhua Headlines: China-Africa trade expo to forge closer economic partnership

Justin Yifu Lin, former senior vice president and chief economist at the World Bank, delivers a speech at the China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo in Changsha, central China’s Hunan Province, June 27, 2019. (Xinhua/Xue Yuge)

by Xinhua writers Cao Kai, Chu Yi, Yang Jian and Zhang Yujie

CHANGSHA, June 27 (Xinhua) — The first China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo opened Thursday in Changsha, capital of central China’s Hunan Province, in a move to forge closer economic ties between the largest developing country and the largest developing continent.

The three-day event has attracted more than 10,000 guests and traders, including those from 53 African countries, according to the organizing committee.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has sent a congratulatory letter.

The expo, announced at the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) last September, was established to provide a platform for deepening economic and trade cooperation between the two sides, he stressed.

It is hoped that the two sides will strengthen coordination to better implement the eight major initiatives put forward at the Beijing summit of the FOCAC, actively explore new paths for cooperation, open up new points of growth for collaboration, and promote China-Africa economic and trade cooperation to a new level, Xi said.

“Industrial development and free trade amongst ourselves will foster faster growth for our mutual benefit,” said Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni at the opening ceremony. “This Forum should, among others, enable us to devise ways of turning these rays of hope into a reality.”

Hailing the long-term friendship with Africa, Chinese Vice Commerce Minister Qian Keming said at the expo that bilateral trade and economic cooperation should be practical and concrete to meet the development needs of African countries in areas such as infrastructure and talent cultivation.

China saw 3 percent year-on-year growth of foreign trade with African countries in the first five months this year, hitting 84.8 billion U.S. dollars. China’s direct investment to the continent has increased by 1.5 billion U.S. dollars in the past five months, up 20 percent year on year, according to Qian.

According to Assome Aminata Diatta, Senegal’s Minister of Trade and SMEs, China is an ideal partner for Africa to improve its capacity building when China is seeking higher-quality growth driven by innovation.

Bringing modern production lines to Africa, especially in the special economic zones, will likely provide tens of millions of jobs for Africa, accelerate its industrialization and improve the trade structure between China and Africa, Diatta said.

China has set a good example for other developing countries, especially those in Africa which, having a lot in common with China, may benefit from mutual complementarity in the area of development, said Justin Yifu Lin, former senior vice president and chief economist at the World Bank.

The experience, wisdom and programs that China will offer are very good reference for African countries that are now eager to work themselves out of poverty and pursue development, Lin said.

After the opening ceremony, 13 cooperation projects involving eight African countries were signed, worth a total of more than 2.5 billion U.S. dollars.

Conferences, seminars, forums and exhibitions focusing on agriculture, trade, investment and infrastructure construction will be held during the expo, with experts sharing views on closer bilateral exchanges.

The expo will feature exhibition areas covering more than 40,000 square meters, including national pavilions and display areas for enterprises that showcase the achievements and opportunities of China-Africa economic and trade cooperation.


With the theme “Win-Win Cooperation for Closer China-Africa Economic Partnership,” the expo, which will become a biennial event, will open a new chapter in the history of bilateral trade.

“Nigeria has a lot of non-oil products of high quality and we want China to buy more,” Uduak M. Etokowoh, an official with the Nigerian Export Promotion Council, told Xinhua.

Nigerian gemstones, Namibian oysters, Kenyan coffee and tea as well as South African wine are attracting many Chinese visitors at the expo.

“We used to export leather materials to Italy and Spain, who now have a wobbling economy,” said Nigerian businessman Mustapha Tijjani Garo. “We are now looking east for the market.”

China has been the largest trading partner of Africa for ten consecutive years. In 2018, trade volume between China and Africa amounted to 204.2 billion U.S. dollars, up 20 percent year on year.

China’s imports of non-resource products from Africa have increased significantly. In 2018, China’s imports from Africa went up 32 percent year on year, with the imports of agricultural products up 22 percent.

“Namibian oysters are selling well in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou,” said Rinouzeu Katjingisiua. “We are hoping to find more partners here.”

For Chinese businessmen, with mounting pressure on labor-intensive industries as cost is surging and industrial upgrading is urgently needed, Africa is a great destination.

Wang Lianfang, owner of Qiqihar Quanlian Heavy Forging Company Ltd. based in northeast China’s Heilongjiang Province, set up an assembling plant in Senegal two years ago to find new markets amid slump domestic demand on agriculture machinery.

“Africa has strong demand,” said Wang, who is selling seeders, tractors and harvesters in the west African country.

“The output is expected to reach 2 billion yuan (291 million U.S. dollars) within 5 years,” said Wang, adding that the company has been working hard for survival in the past three years.

The transfer of labor-intensive industries from China can also give a strong push to Africa’s industrialization and modernization. It will expedite the economic take-off of Africa in the same way as how the industrial transfer had benefited China, Justin Yifu Lin said.


With abundant resources, a large population and a vast market, Africa is still the poorest continent and falls behind in the overall context of development and is battling poverty and hunger.

For 11 years, paddy land has been Hu Yuefang’s battlefield in Madagascar to fight against poverty.

“Madagascar can reach the self-sufficiency in rice as long as 15 percent of its rice planting area belongs to hybrid varieties,” Hu Yuefang said, adding that the average yield of hybrid rice produced by Chinese technologies in Africa is two to three times more than that of local ones.

Buried in the field all day, the 61-year-old agriculture expert from Yuan Longping High-tech Agriculture Co. Ltd. (LPHT) has been on the frontier of closer agriculture cooperation between the two sides.

He said though he could not come to the scene, he expected fruitful results from the inaugural expo to help tackle challenges and bring shared benefits to China and Africa.

China took deliberate steps using the agriculture sector to transform its economy by setting up favorable agricultural policies, the experience of which can be learned by us to accelerate our development, according to Ugandan Minister of Agriculture Vincent Bamulangaki Ssempijja at the expo.

“We strongly believe that by working together with our Chinese friends through joint venture businesses, investment arrangements and win-win cooperation, the majority of African countries can quickly eradicate poverty,” he said.

Hunger has long been bothering African countries. To help relieve the grain shortage, Chinese agricultural enterprises and experts, like Yuan, have been devoted to the continent for years, sharing China’s wisdom and experience.

“We put red flags on the map to show our steps in promoting hybrid rice in Africa in recent years, which have covered nearly 20 countries in southeastern, western and northern parts of the continent,” said Yao Zhenqiu, LPHT’s deputy general manager.

Guided by Yuan Longping, China’s “Father of Hybrid Rice,” the LPHT expert team has successfully cultivated five kinds of high-yielding hybrid rice seeds suitable for the local soil and climate.

So far, Chinese experts and technicians have carried out more than 300 small-scale projects in nine African countries, promoted 450 agricultural technologies, and trained nearly 30,000 local farmers and technicians, according to Ma Youxiang, an official with China’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, at the expo.

“We will continue to send high-level agricultural experts and vocational education teachers to African countries, to further expand training in Africa and help cultivate more talent in agriculture,” he said.

The World Food Programme (WFP), the food assistance branch of the United Nations, is also taking the expo as an opportunity to meet Chinese business society to tackle food problems in Africa.

WFP will work with China to help Africa achieve the goal of ‘Zero Hunger’, said Qu Sixi, WFP China Representative.

Source: Xinhua


China, Africa eye a community of shared future via cooperation


Yang Jiechi, a member of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the CPC Central Committee, meets with South African Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor in Beijing, capital of China, June 25, 2019. (Xinhua/Zhang Ling)

BEIJING, June 25 (Xinhua) — China on Tuesday vowed to work with African countries to enhance cooperation based on equality and openness to build a community of shared future.

That came as Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi addressed the opening ceremony of the Coordinators’ Meeting on the Implementation of the Follow-up Actions of the Beijing Summit of the Forum on the China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC).

After reading Chinese President Xi Jinping’s congratulatory letter to the meeting, Wang said the letter fully expressed Xi’s profound friendship toward African countries and their people, and demonstrated the Chinese government’s strong willingness to engage in friendly cooperation.

In delivering on the blueprint for China-Africa cooperation in the new era, China stands ready to work with the African side in implementing promises with concrete and effective actions, and achieving full implementation of consensus and outcomes concluded at the FOCAC Beijing Summit, Wang said.

Wang also called for sticking to the fundamental purpose of building a community of shared future and the development path of jointly constructing the Belt and Road, upholding multilateralism, and safeguarding the common interests of developing countries and emerging markets.

“Any disturbance will not affect our resolve to enhance cooperation, and any difficulty will not hinder our joint advancement in achieving rejuvenation,” he said.

After the opening ceremony, Yang Jiechi, a member of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the CPC Central Committee, met with four foreign ministers from African countries, including Nabeela Tunis from Sierra Leone, Simeon Oyono Esono Angue from Equatorial Guinea, Naledi Pandor from South Africa, and Amadou Ba from Senegal.

Also on Tuesday, Wang Yi met with foreign ministers from Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Cote d’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Ghana, Uganda and Libya, and an official on economics from Eritrea.

Source: Xinhua


Factbox: China, Africa to embrace closer economic, trade ties

BEIJING, June 8 (Xinhua) — China and African countries will see more intimate economic and trade ties as the first China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo will open on June 27 in Changsha, the capital city of Hunan Province.

A total of 53 African countries have confirmed to attend the expo, and international organizations including the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, the World Food Programme and the World Trade Organization will also send representatives to attend the event.

Here are some facts and figures revealing the growing vitality of trade between China and Africa as well as broader economic exchanges.

— China has been the largest trading partner of Africa for 10 consecutive years.

— In 2018, trade volume between China and Africa amounted to 204.2 billion U.S. dollars, up 20 percent year on year.

— China’s imports of non-resource products from Africa have increased significantly. In 2018, China’s imports from Africa went up 32 percent year on year, with the imports of agricultural products up 22 percent.

— China’s exports of mechanical, electrical and high-tech products accounted for 56 percent of its total exports to African countries.

— China has finished the negotiations of a free trade agreement with Mauritius.

— More than 3,700 Chinese enterprises have been set up in Africa by the end of 2018, with combined direct investment over 46 billion dollars.

— China’s financial institutions have established more than 10 branches in Africa.

— South Africa and seven other countries have included the Chinese currency renminbi (RMB), or the yuan, in their foreign exchange reserves.

— China has formed RMB clearing arrangements with Zambia and signed currency swap agreements with four African countries including Morocco.

Source: Xinhua


China’s top legislator meets Nigerien president


Li Zhanshu (R), chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC), meets with Niger’s President Mahamadou Issoufou at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, May 29, 2019. (Xinhua/Pang Xinglei)

BEIJING, May 29 (Xinhua) — China’s top legislator Li Zhanshu met with visiting Nigerien President Mahamadou Issoufou on Wednesday, exchanging views on pushing forward the relationship between the two countries.

Li, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC), said China stands ready to work with Niger to implement the important consensus made by the two heads of state to lift the bilateral ties to a higher level.

Both the Chinese and African people experienced anti-imperialist and anti-colonial struggles in the past, and both face the task of getting rid of poverty and backwardness and achieving development and prosperity, Li said.

China and Africa have created a new model of South-South cooperation, Li said.

The NPC is willing to strengthen exchanges with the National Assembly of Niger and promote state-to-state friendly cooperation, he said.

Issoufou said Niger thanks China for its long-term support and assistance, and is willing to learn from China’s development experience, actively participate in jointly building the Belt and Road and strengthen pragmatic cooperation.

Source: Xinhua


Ozone layer: Banned CFCs traced to China say scientists

home insulationImage copyright GETTY IMAGES
Image caption Much of the CFC-11 gas has been used in home insulation

Researchers say that they have pinpointed the major sources of a mysterious recent rise in a dangerous, ozone-destroying chemical.

CFC-11 was primarily used for home insulation but global production was due to be phased out in 2010.

But scientists have seen a big slowdown in the rate of depletion over the past six years.

This new study says this is mostly being caused by new gas production in eastern provinces of China.

CFC-11 is also known as trichlorofluoromethane, and is one of a number of chloroflurocarbon (CFC) chemicals that were initially developed as refrigerants during the 1930s.

However, it took many decades for scientists to discover that when CFCs break down in the atmosphere, they release chlorine atoms that are able to rapidly destroy the ozone layer which protects us from ultraviolet light. A gaping hole in the ozone layer over Antarctica was discovered in the mid 1980s.

Media caption Twenty-five years of ice loss in the Antarctic

The international community agreed the Montreal Protocol in 1987, which banned most of the offending chemicals. Recent research suggests that the hole in the Northern Hemisphere could be fully fixed by the 2030s and Antarctica by the 2060s.

When was the CFC problem discovered?

CFC-11 was the second most abundant CFCs and was initially seen to be declining as expected.

However in 2018 a team of researchers monitoring the atmosphere found that the rate of decline had slowed by about 50% after 2012.

Image caption Monitoring stations in Korea and Japan were key to detecting the mystery sources of CFC-11

That team reasoned that they were seeing new production of the gas, coming from East Asia. The authors of that paper argued that if the sources of new production weren’t shut down, it could delay the healing of the ozone layer by a decade.

What did investigators find on the ground?

Further detective work in China by the Environmental Investigation Agency in 2018 seemed to indicate that the country was indeed the source. They found that the illegal chemical was used in the majority of the polyurethane insulation produced by firms they contacted.

One seller of CFC-11 estimated that 70% of China’s domestic sales used the illegal gas. The reason was quite simple – CFC-11 is better quality and much cheaper than the alternatives.

So what does this latest study show?

This new paper seems to confirm beyond any reasonable doubt that some 40-60% of the increase in emissions is coming from provinces in eastern China.

Using what are termed “top-down” measurements from air monitoring stations in South Korea and Japan, the researchers were able to show that since 2012 CFC-11 has increased from production sites in eastern China.

home insulationImage copyright GETTY IMAGES

They calculated that there was a 110% rise in emissions from these parts of China for the years 2014-2017 compared to the period between 2008-2012.

“This new study is based on spikes in the data on air that comes from China,” lead author Dr Matt Rigby, a reader at the University of Bristol, told BBC Inside Science.

“Using computer simulations of the transport of these gases through the atmosphere we can start to put numbers on emissions from different regions and that’s where we come up with this number of around 7,000 tonnes of extra CFC-11 emissions coming out of China compared to before 2012.

“But from the data, all we just see are the ultimate releases to the atmosphere, we don’t have any information on how that CFC-11 was used or where it was produced, it is entirely possible that it was manufactured in some other region, some other part of China or even some other country and was transported to the place where they are making insulating foams at which point some of it could have been emitted to the atmosphere.”

Where are the rest of the emissions coming from?

The researchers are not sure. It’s possible that the missing emissions are coming from other parts of China, as the monitoring stations just can’t see them. They could also be coming from India, Africa or South America as again there is very little monitoring in these regions.

Does this have implications for climate change?

Yes – the authors say that these CFCs are also very potent greenhouse gases. One tonne of CFC-11 is equivalent to around 5,000 tonnes of CO2.

“If we look at these extra emissions that we’ve identified from eastern China, it equates to about 35 million tonnes of CO2 being emitted into the atmosphere every year, that’s equivalent to about 10% of UK emissions, or similar to the whole of London.”

Will China clampdown on the production?

The Chinese say they have already started to clamp down on production by what they term “rogue manufacturers”. Last November, several suspects were arrested in Henan province, in possession of 30 tonnes of CFC-11.

Clare Perry from the Environmental Investigations Agency (EIA) said that the new findings re-affirmed the need to stamp out production.

“I think with this study, it is beyond doubt that China is the source of these unexpected emissions, and we would hope that China is leaving no stone unturned to discover the source of the CFC-11 production.

“Unless the production of the chemical is shut down it will be near impossible to end the use and emissions in the foam companies.”

The study has been published in the journal Nature.

Source: The BBC


Beyond the Yellow River: DNA tells new story of the origins of Han Chinese

  • Researchers say history of China’s biggest ethnic group is more complex than many believe
  • DNA study involving 20,000 unrelated people points to three river origins
The study of Han DNA by the team from the Kunming institute challenges a long-held view of the early origins of Chinese civilisation. Photo: Xinhua
The study of Han DNA by the team from the Kunming institute challenges a long-held view of the early origins of Chinese civilisation. Photo: Xinhua
The origins of China’s biggest ethnic group can be traced back to three river valleys, deposing the Yellow River as the sole cradle of Chinese civilisation, according to a new study.
The Yellow has long been hailed as the mother river of Han Chinese, who make up nearly 92 per cent of the country’s population today.
But research published in the online journal Molecular Biology and Evolution on Wednesday said the Yangtze and Pearl rivers – as well as the Yellow – gave rise to genetically separate groups about 10,000 years ago. Those ancestors then mingled to become the largest ethnic group in the world today, it said.
“The history of Han Chinese is more sophisticated than thought,” said Professor Kong Qingdong, a researcher with the Kunming Institute of Zoology at the Chinese Academy of Sciences and lead scientist in the study. “Many details need investigation.”
A DNA study suggests the Yellow River (above) may have to share its place as a cradle for Han Chinese with the Yangtze and the Pearl. Photo: Xinhua
A DNA study suggests the Yellow River (above) may have to share its place as a cradle for Han Chinese with the Yangtze and the Pearl. Photo: Xinhua

After analysing DNA samples from more than 20,000 unrelated Han Chinese, examining their dialects and family geography and comparing those to archaeological DNA records, scientists concluded that the Yangtze and Pearl had equal claim with the Yellow to Han origins.

Progenitors from the three river valleys evolved independently, the Kunming team said, and distinctions found in the mitochondrial DNA (the mother’s line) of study volunteers added weight to their assertion.

Who are you? DNA tests help Chinese retrace ancient steps

About 0.07 per cent of the DNA examined in the Han Chinese study differed according to river valley origin. By comparison, the difference was much lower – 0.02 per cent – when the study volunteer data was assessed by dialect, the researchers said.

Earlier studies of genetic markers and microsatellite data that mapped the prevalence of DNA revealed that Han Chinese can be generally divided into two groups: North and South. The latest study found that the genetic variation between North and South Han Chinese is 0.03 per cent, considerably less significant than the distinction by rivers.

Dr Li Yuchun, lead author of the paper, said the findings helped trace the history of Han to the dawn of civilisation, the emergence of agriculture and the sustainable growth of population.

The earliest migrants from Africa to China arrived in what is now the southwest between 60,000 and 100,000 years ago, studies said. The genes of this group of hunter-gatherers were largely unchanged for tens of thousands years.

About 10,000 years ago, agricultural practices began to emerge in the valleys of the three rivers. Archaeologists found evidence of millet cultivation around the Yellow River, rice in the Yangtze, and roots and tubers in the Pearl.

The busy Yangtze River flows through Chongqing in southwest China. Photo: Xinhua
The busy Yangtze River flows through Chongqing in southwest China. Photo: Xinhua

“Increasing food led to a population boom in these areas. We can see it in the separate path of gene evolution,” Li said.

The research also found that women were able to preserve their genetic story better than men as they stayed at home to tend the fields, while men went to explore, trade or wage war.

“Females are resilient to invasion,” she said.

The cultural significance of knowing one’s ancestry

The research team planned to examine the Y-chromosome, which passed from father to son, to study the expansion of the Han civilisation, Li said.

“It will be interesting to hear the story from a male perspective,” she said.

As the Han empires expanded, many ancient ethnic groups such as Huns, Siberians, Khitan in northern China and the Thai-Khadai speaking peoples in the south, passed from the record.

Some researchers think these minorities become extinct, but others believe they were absorbed into the Han Chinese population.

Source: SCMP


Cambodian PM says China ready to help if EU imposes sanctions

PHNOM PENH (Reuters) – China will help Cambodia if the European Union (EU) withdraws special market access over its rights record, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen said on Monday as he announced a 600 million yuan ($89 million) Chinese aid package for his military.

Hun Sen, who is on a five-day trip to China to attend a Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) forum in Beijing, held bilateral talks with President Xi Jinping and signed several agreements with Cambodia’s most important ally.

Cambodia benefits from the EU’s “Everything But Arms” trade scheme which allows the world’s least developed countries to export most goods to the EU free of duties.

But Cambodia risks losing the special access to the world’s largest trading bloc over its human rights records.

During a meeting with Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang, Li pledged to help Cambodia if the EU withdraws the market access, according to a post on Hun Sen’s official Facebook page.

“In this regard … Prime Minister Li Keqiang also confirmed his efforts to help Cambodia,” the post said.
China is Cambodia’s biggest aid donor and investor, pouring in billions of dollars in development aid and loans through the Belt and Road initiative, which aims to bolster land and sea links with Southeast Asia, Central Asia, the Middle East, Europe and Africa.
Unlike Western countries, China does not question Cambodia’s record on rights.
The EU, which accounts for more than one-third of Cambodia’s exports, including garments, footwear and bicycles, in February began an 18-month process that could lead to the suspension of the special market access.
Among the agreements Hun Sen struck in China was one for Huawei Technologies to help Cambodia develop a system for 5G technology. The Chinese tech giant has ambitions to build the next generation of data networks across the world and boasts 40 commercial 5G contracts worldwide.
China also agreed to import 400,000 tonnes of Cambodian rice, according to Hun Sen’s Facebook page.
“China will continue to support the national defence sector in Cambodia, and in this regard, the Chinese president announced that China will provide 600 million yuan to Cambodia’s defence sector,” the post said.
Source: Reuters

BRI to address global infrastructure imbalance: AECOM

BEIJING, April 20 (Xinhua) — The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) will be an efficient way to address the imbalance in global infrastructure development, according to U.S. engineering firm AECOM.

Under the BRI, financing platforms including the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the Silk Road Fund have emerged, which will help narrow the development gap, said Ian Chung, chief executive of AECOM for Greater China.

“The BRI is an opportunity for all. It is open, inclusive, and will bring economic development to the next level,” Chung told Xinhua.

According to Chung, countries and regions of different development phases can all benefit from the BRI, especially in infrastructure.

For developing economies, such as some in Africa, the BRI will significantly improve local infrastructure connectivity and boost economic growth, Chung said.

For fast-growing economies such as some in Southeast Asia, Chinese firms could share their experience in high efficiency and green construction via the BRI to meet the rising demand for sustainable infrastructure, he said.

As for many other developed countries, the demand for infrastructure still abounds, as many existing facilities are becoming aged, he added.

The BRI has opened plenty of opportunities for AECOM, as the company has been partnering with Chinese firms on many overseas projects, offering consulting services on design, local regulations, environmental and safety standards.

“Chinese firms excel in construction and financing, while we share a competitive edge in project design, knowledge of local regulations, procedures as well as culture. It’s a win-win for all of us,” Chung said.

Seeing business opportunities from the BRI, the company set up a new department in its Beijing office three years ago to work with Chinese firms on BRI projects.

The firm just opened its new offices in Chengdu and Changsha, following the set-up of its China headquarters in Shanghai last year, another sign that shows the company’s confidence in China’s development, Chung said.

“I am very optimistic that we will have more value-added cooperation with Chinese firms under the BRI,” Chung said.

Source: Xinhua


Chinese companies in Africa create great development opportunities

BEIJING, March 6 (Xinhua) — Chinese companies operating in Africa have created huge opportunities for the continent’s development, a senior political advisor said Wednesday at a press conference on the sidelines of the annual sessions of the top legislative and political advisory bodies.

There are more than 10,000 Chinese companies in Africa and over 90 percent of them are private businesses, said Nan Cunhui, a member of the Standing Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference National Committee, citing a recent survey.

These companies have built roads, railways, airports, ports and other infrastructure projects in Africa, addressing the bottleneck in development, said Nan, also a vice chairman of the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce. They have also invested in green energy development, including photovoltaic power stations, to boost local power supply.

The Chinese companies have also brought advanced technologies, development concepts and management to the continent, Nan said.

Citing the operation of an industrial park in Egypt as an example, Nan said over 95 percent of the employees are locals who develop professional skills and gain managerial know-how through their work.

“Chinese companies in Africa have contributed a lot to the local economic development through infrastructure construction, job creation and tax payment,” Nan said. “I believe China-Africa cooperation will go from strength to strength.”

Source: Xinhua

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