“New Dimensions of China-Africa Development: Trade, Infrastructure and the Fourth Industrial Revolution” online seminar was held recently. The seminar was co-hosted by the Chinese Embassy in South Africa,
South African Institute of International Studies. Nearly a hundred experts and scholars participated online to discuss how to better develop China-Africa cooperation in the post-pandemic era.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation. China has become Africa’s largest trading partner for 11 consecutive years, and Africa is an emerging investment destination for Chinese companies. The scale of China-Africa cooperation continues to expand, and the areas of cooperation continue to expand.
“China and Africa have achieved fruitful results in the fields of trade and investment, infrastructure, digital economy, etc.,” said Chen Xiaodong, Chinese Ambassador to South Africa.
China will strongly support the construction of a free trade zone on the African continent and continue to develop free trade with African countries and regions. Negotiations to expand imports of African goods, especially non-resource products, and welcome more African countries to participate in the third China International Import Expo, which will provide more assistance to Africa’s economic recovery after the pandemic.
Elizabeth Sidilopoulos, director of the South African Institute of International Studies, believes that the pandemic has made the world economy worse, and Africa is facing a huge impact.
“African countries need to accelerate the construction of a free trade zone on the African continent, deepen cooperative relations with important partners such as China, and promote economic and trade cooperation and value chain integration within and outside the region to achieve economic recovery and to embrace a sustainable future.”
In recent years, the joint construction of the “Belt and Road” has injected strong impetus into China-Africa pragmatic cooperation. A number of major projects such as the African Union Conference Center, the Mombasa-Nairobi Railway, Akka Railway, China-Egypt Suez Economic and Trade Cooperation Zone, and Dohaley New Port in Djibouti have been implemented.
“China has made a huge contribution to the construction of African infrastructure and helped African infrastructure continue to reach new levels.” said Faso, a researcher at the Africa-China Studies Center at the University of Johannesburg, South Africa.
Professor Pulesa Sprah of South Africa’s Golden Mountain University said that China supports the process of African integration and regional economic integration, helped Africa improve the convenience of cross-border logistics and customs clearance, and provided strong support for the construction of a free trade zone on the African continent. China provides Africa with green loans and a variety of green financing methods, injecting impetus into Africa’s sustainable development.
Expand cooperation in new infrastructure such as 5G, big data, and artificial intelligence, carry out cooperation in new business formats such as digital economy, smart cities, clean energy, and e-commerce, and continue to promote joint research, technical training, and scientific and technological anti-pandemic.
in the “Fourth Industrial Revolution” In the topic section of “The Potential and Possibilities of China-Africa Cooperation”, the guests at the meeting discussed the potential of China-Africa cooperation. Sidiropoulos said that China has made significant progress in the fields of digital economy, e-commerce, and 5G technology. China uses innovative technologies to strengthen pandemic prevention and control, and plays an important role in the global fight against the pandemic.
Lauren Joston, an assistant researcher at the School of Asian and African Studies at the University of London, believes that China is a reliable partner in Africa, and African countries should continue to deepen cooperation with China in the field of scientific research.
“Africa-China cooperation has ushered in more precious opportunities. Now, Chinese consumers can buy Rwanda coffee online, and e-commerce has given African people a real sense of gain.” Faso said that the export of African agricultural products to China has brought about With considerable economic benefits, the digital economy will open up more room for development in Africa-China trade.