Key China-Africa expo opens in central China
An exhibitor presents Ethiopian coffee during the third China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo at the Changsha International Convention and Exhibition Center in Changsha, central China's Hunan Province, June 29, 2023. (Xinhua/Sun Ruibo)
CHANGSHA, June 29 (Xinhua) -- The third China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo kicked off on Thursday in Changsha, the capital of central China's Hunan Province. The expo aims to welcome more "Made in Africa" products into China and boost business links between the two sides.
Themed "Common Development for a Shared Future," the four-day event will be attended by representatives from 53 African countries and multiple international organizations.
The number of exhibitors has reached 1,500, up 70 percent from the previous expo. A myriad of African products will be on display, from Kenyan roses to Egyptian fragrances, as traders use the expo to explore the vast Chinese market.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Chinese Vice President Han Zheng said that China is willing to provide new opportunities for Africa through Chinese modernization and high-quality development, and will make the pragmatic cooperation between the two sides deeper and more solid.
Over the past decade, no matter how the international situation has changed, China and Africa have always been friendly and united, and have become a community with a shared future and common interests, Han noted.
Han on Wednesday also met with Malawian President Lazarus Chakwera and Tanzania's Zanzibar President Hussein Ali Mwinyi, who on Thursday attended the opening ceremony in Changsha.
This year's event is expected to be more influential than previous ones as it will cover a wider range of topics. For the first time in the expo's history, forums and seminars will be held on traditional Chinese medicine cooperation, women in dialogue, and professional education.
As part of the expo, a forum on sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) cooperation was held on Thursday, during which the two sides proposed a liaison mechanism to strengthen the docking of inspection and quarantine standards and rules, which is key to facilitating African exports of agricultural and food products to China.
The guest countries of honor at the expo are Benin, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Madagascar, Malawi, Morocco, Mozambique, Nigeria and Zambia.
First launched in 2019, the expo has become a major platform strengthening economic and trade cooperation between China and African countries.
It is the third time the expo has taken place in Hunan, one of China's provinces most active in economic and trade ties with Africa and a trailblazer in China-Africa cooperation.
A Malawian exhibitor talks with a visitor during the third China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo at the Changsha International Convention and Exhibition Center in Changsha, central China's Hunan Province, June 29, 2023. (Xinhua/Sun Ruibo)
The expo has attracted much attention from African governments and business leaders.
President of the Angola-China Chamber of Commerce Luis Cupenala said the expo is a vital global showcase for African countries to demonstrate their capabilities and products.
He said Angola has placed great importance on the event, sending a delegation of company representatives, ministers and provincial governors, with the aim of forging new cooperation and strengthening trade relations with China.
China is Africa's largest trading partner and its fourth-biggest source of investment. Official data shows that bilateral trade between China and Africa totaled 282 billion U.S. dollars in 2022. In the first four months of the year, China's new direct investment in Africa totaled 1.38 billion dollars, up 24 percent year on year.