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Interview: CIIE opens new opportunities for boosting China-Africa trade

Updated: November 10, 2023 Source: Xinhua News Agency
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ACCRA, Nov. 9 (Xinhua) -- A Ghanaian expert has lauded the China International Import Expo (CIIE), initiated in 2018, for offering abundant new opportunities to foster China-Africa trade.

Paul Frimpong, executive director of Africa-China Center for Policy and Advisory, a think tank based in Ghana, told Xinhua in a recent interview that the introduction of CIIE signified China's determination to open up at a higher level to the whole world for win-win cooperation.

According to Frimpong, the ever-growing Chinese economy and development momentum exposed the African continent to vast opportunities to boost bilateral trade and speed up the continent's industrialization.

"There are 1.4 billion Chinese consumers, and if you follow the right channel, you can find the market. And there are a lot of African countries that are taking advantage of this," he said, noting that large numbers of African enterprises' presence at this year's expo was a testimony of that trend.

"The evolution of the Chinese economy over the past three decades has brought China closer to Africa in terms of trade," he underscored.

China remained Africa's largest trading partner over the past decade. Official data show that bilateral trade grew 11 percent to 282 billion U.S. dollars in 2022.

The expert noted that for enterprises from Ghana and other African countries, the gigantic Chinese market is more appealing than traditional markets such as Europe.

"The significance of the Chinese economy in the global scheme of things can not be understated, and countries in Africa like Ghana need access to the Chinese market," Frimpong said. "For decades, Africa has been championing the African Continental Free Trade Area to create a common market of 1.4 billion people and a massive opportunity for any business in Africa. Similarly, access to the Chinese market will boost production and industrialization in the African continent."

The expert further noted that the CIIE builds international synergies for overseas procurement, business-to-business networking, investment promotion, people-to-people exchanges, and open cooperation, which would also be conducive to unlocking global growth potential.

Editor: Yu Huichen