2020 China-Africa Private Sector Cooperation Forum held in Beijing
The 2020 China-Africa Private Sector Cooperation Forum (CAPSCF) was held in Beijing on Dec. 11.
Themed with “opportunities and challenges for China-Africa industrial and trade cooperation in the pandemic spell”, the forum was co-sponsored by China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), Ministry of Commerce and the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce (ACFIC), and the African Union representative office in China, and the embassies of Senegal, Morocco and Ethiopia in China, organized by the China-Africa Business Council.
Xu Lejiang, vice minister of the United Front Work Department (UFWD) of the CPC Central Committee and ACFIC’s executive vice chairman, Amadou Hott, Senegalese minister of economy, plan and cooperation, and Wu Peng, director-general of MFA’s department of Africa, attended and addressed the forum online or in person.
Qiu Xiaoping, ACFIC’s vice chairman, hosted the opening ceremony.
In his speech, Xu Lejiang pointed out that 2020 marked the 20th anniversary of the founding of the Forum of China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC).
On 12 October, President Xi Jinping and President Macky Sall of Senegal, the current African Co-Chair of FOCAC, issued a joint congratulatory message to mark this important occasion, stressing to promote the comprehensive strategic cooperation partnership between China and Africa to a new level and consolidating a close China-Africa community of shared future so as to benefit the people in China and Africa, and from all over the world.
Xu said that the holding of the CAPSCF was an implementation of the leaders’ consensus on the FOCAC, which was aimed at guiding Chinese private enterprises to strengthen investment in Africa and contribute to high-quality and sustainable development of China-Africa trade cooperation.
Xu reviewed the past two decades of China-Africa cooperation, saying that China had become the biggest trade partner of Africa in 11 consecutive years and provided strong impetus for African economic growth.
He said that China-Africa cooperation had also brought many opportunities to Chinese enterprises’ development, during which Chinese private enterprises’ investment had grown rapidly and become the most energetic market bodies to have displayed positive effects on increasing African economy, employment and livelihood.
This year in particular, China reacted at the earliest time to help Africa combat COVID-19, where Chinese private enterprises in Africa actively joined in local epidemic prevention and control by donating funds and goods, showing earnest friendship and sense of responsibility and commitment towards African people with solid moves.
Deepening China-Africa cooperation met with both peoples’ demand, said Xu.
He pointed out that with the world changing fast and both China and Africa facing tough work on combating pandemic, stabilizing economy and guaranteeing livelihood, the two sides needed to enhance cooperation more than any time before.
China is building a new development pattern with domestic circulation as main body and international circulation as complement, which brings new impetus and opportunities for deep development of China-Africa cooperation.
Xu hoped that enterprises both in China and Africa should concentrate on current common demand of the two sides, and display a partnership spirit to help each other with respective advantages. The forum served just as an example to promote common development by strengthening Belt and Road cooperation.
He said that China-Africa civil cooperation had a lot to write. The ACFIC, as China’s most influential industrial and commercial organization and a member of the Chinese action committee under the FOCAC, actively supported capable Chinese private enterprises with good reputation to invest and develop in Africa for, and would form a closer interaction cooperation mechanism with the African Union and all governmental and business organizations in Africa, which is not only a carrying out of the Chinese and African leaders’ consensus but also solid action to promote the cooperation of China-Africa private sector to a new level.
Amadou Hott, Senegalese minister of economy, plan and cooperation, said in his address that Senegal, as the current African Co-Chair of FOCAC and the host country of the 8th minister conference of the 2021 China Africa cooperation forum, attached great importance to the China-Africa Private Sector Forum.
On behalf of President Macky Sall and the Senegalese government, he wished the forum a success and invited Minister Xu Lejiang to attend the Dakar summit next year.
He pointed out that the COVID-19 pandemic had affected the normal operation of government worldwide and led to a serious disorder in people’s and enterprises’ activities; although there were double impact on people’s health and economy, Africa and China stayed committed towards each other, the friendship and agreements.
He said the forum was an opportunity to strengthen China-Senegal friendly exchanges. The cooperation on business, industry, medical treatment and pharmacy was also the future direction of Senegalese social economic development.
Senegal would also adjust and speed up priority action plan to benefit Chinese enterprises investing the private sector in Africa.
Amadou Hott also hoped the forum would provide specific suggestions on recovering production, improving African industrial capacity, and suitable way of financing for Africa in Chinese market.
He said that under the global epidemic background, China-Africa partnership should be safe-guarded and consolidated for future challenges so as to realize common development and prosper goals.
Wu Peng, general-director of MFA’s department of Africa, said that the China-Africa Private Sector Cooperation Forum was a sub session under the framework of the FOCAC, and had become an important platform and brand to expand exchange and cooperation among private enterprises in China and Africa.
He reviewed on the 14th senior officials’ meeting of the FOCAC, where many African ambassadors to China mentioned about strengthening China-Africa private sector cooperation and expecting to see more Chinese private enterprises to invest in Africa, making full use of the natural resources to help Africa improve added values of products and industrial productivity.
He said in this new trend private sector were expected to shoulder more expectations and responsibilities in promoting post-pandemic China-Africa cooperation, where cooperation and developing were on the top list.
Next year’s forum was expected to launch in Senegal, which would bring strong impetus to post-pandemic China-Africa cooperation and bring new chances and platforms for the private sector on both sides. Wu said.
He hoped the entrepreneurs could find accurate orientation by considering advantages and market future, and that China and African private enterprises could actively fulfill social responsibilities by picturing themselves in local development, and that they could continue displaying a role of practitioner and inheritor of China-Africa friendship.
He Song, deputy director-general of the department of Africa with the Ministry of Commerce, Wang Licheng, president of China-Africa Business Council and board chairman of Holley Group, Hany Besada, senior researcher and program consultant with the UN Office of South-South Cooperation, and Albert Muchanga, African Union commissioner for industry and trade, made keynote speeches on site or via Internet about the opportunities and challenges facing China-Africa cooperation, roles of private sector in China-Africa development, and business chambers’ role in promoting China-Africa private sector cooperation.
Twelve guests including government officials, experts and private entrepreneurs from China and Africa exchanged on macro potential, opportunity of China-Africa industrial and trade cooperation, China-Africa medical treatment cooperation and helping improve African livelihood.
On the forum, CABC Sino Africa Next Generation Entrepreneurs International Committee was launched and a legal and business service program was signed
More than ten African ambassadors to China including Ambassador Mamadou Ndiaye from Senegal and more than 150 guests including government officials, scholars and representatives of financial organizations and private enterprises attended the forum. More than 100,000 people from the industrial and commercial circle joined in online forum.