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China promises more aid to Africa

Updated: Jul 27,2016 9:40 AM     Xinhua

BEIJING — China will gradually increase aid to Africa, a Ministry of Commerce (MOC) official said on July 26.

“China’s aid to Africa has been carried out in accordance with China’s capabilities. The aid to Africa accounts for a limited proportion of China’s gross domestic product,” said Shu Luomei, an official with the MOC Department of Western Asian and African Affairs.

Since 2000, China has helped Africa build more than 120 educational facilities, nearly 40 irrigation projects to support agricultural production, and over 70 medical facilities.

Shu’s remarks at a news conference came three days before a Sino-African coordinators’ meeting on the implementation of actions resulting from the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) held in Johannesburg, South Africa, in December 2015.

At the Johannesburg Summit, China announced 10 major plans for China-Africa cooperation over the next three years, backed by a package of $60 billion.

Of the financial package, $10 billion was allocated to a China-Africa industrial capacity cooperation fund, which will mainly invest in manufacturing, high-tech, agriculture, energy, infrastructure construction and finance in African countries.

The package also includes $5 billion of free aid and interest-free loans, $35 billion of preferential loans and export credit on more favorable terms and $5 billion of additional capital for the China-Africa Development Fund and the Special Loan for the Development of African small and medium-sized enterprises.

“The MOC, for its part, will push forward these projects in an orderly manner and in accordance with the schedule,” Shu told reporters.

Since 2012, China has provided African countries with over $20 billion in loans to support infrastructure, investment, small- and medium-sized enterprises, agriculture and manufacturing.

Shu said Sino-African economic cooperation has diversified in the past few years and expanded to more fields including trade, infrastructure, industrial investment, finance, logistics and regional aviation.

“China’s investment in Africa is a highlight of Sino-African economic and trade cooperation in the past years. It is set to bring Sino-African economic ties to a new level in the years to come,” she said.

MOC data showed that China’s non-financial outbound investment in Africa jumped 10 percent year on year in the first half of 2016 to more than $1.3 billion.