In the morning of May 8 local time, Premier Li Keqiang attended the Plenary Session of the 24th World Economic Forum (WEF) on Africa in Abuja and delivered a special address entitled “Jointly Promote Africa’s Development to a New Level”.
Li Keqiang said that inclusive growth has already become a widely acknowledged development concept in the world. The theme of this forum, “Forging Inclusive Growth, Creating Jobs”, is well directed at the reality. Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Africa last year and put forward China’s concept of “sincerity, real results, affinity and good faith” in developing relations with Africa, and we will adhere to this concept. The mutually beneficial cooperation between China and Africa promotes the wellbeing of more than 2.3 billion people and the balanced development of world economy. This is definitely the world’s largest inclusive growth. Africa needs to develop its infrastructure and industries, while China boasts a stronger and spare capability of investment and construction in these areas. Thus, the economies of China and Africa are highly complementary, and both sides’ development is each other’s opportunity. China and Africa shall complement each other in mutually beneficial cooperation to give a definitely stronger impetus to each other’s development.
Li Keqiang suggested that the realization of an inclusive growth should start from the construction of transportation infrastructure. China is willing to cooperate with Africa in the construction of high-speed railway network, highway network and regional aviation network in Africa, so as to promote the interconnection across the African continent. China is willing to provide financial, personnel and technical support, and share with no reservation its advanced and practicable technology and management experience with the African countries. China is willing to support a preferential transfer of suitable labor-intensive industries to Africa, support Africa to increase grain production and help Africa’s energy and resource industries extend into both upstream and downstream areas, so as to improve Africa’s self-development capacity. The two sides can cooperate in the green and low-carbon field to promote Africa’s sustainable development. In its assistance to Africa, China will uphold the principles of not posing any political conditions, not interfering into the African countries’ internal affairs and not imposing its own will on Africa. China will enlarge the scale and raise the quality of its assistance within its capacity. With China-Africa friendship as the “axle bearing” driven by the two “wheels” of economic and trade as well as people-to-people and cultural exchanges, China is willing to work with the African countries to push China-Africa cooperation onto a fast track on steadier steps and for a greater distance.
Li Keqiang pointed out that although China has become the world’s second largest economy, it is still the largest developing country in the world. Compared with the past years, China’s economic growth rate has been slowed down, which is objective and normal, and China still boasts a solid foundation for economic growth. We pay more attention to the quality and performance of economic growth, so as to make it more inclusive and sustainable. China’s development today aims at an increase in employment, focuses on balanced development, emphasizes fairness and justice, and stresses the improvement of people’s livelihood. We have the confidence and capacity to attain this year’s growth target and maintain a medium-to-high rate of economic growth for quite a long time.
Li Keqiang concluded that China is willing to move forward shoulder to shoulder with the African countries in equal treatment and sincere cooperation, elevate Africa’s development to a new high, and make greater contributions to world prosperity, progress and lasting peace.
Executive Chairman of the WEF Klaus Schwab and President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria delivered speeches respectively. They spoke highly of China’s policy towards Africa and Africa-China cooperation, and said that China has made positive contributions to the development of Africa and the world. The WEF and the African countries are willing to further strengthen cooperation with China and jointly promote the inclusive growth and sustainable development of Africa and the world.
More than 1,000 people attended the event, including over ten heads of state and government of the African countries, former high-ranking officials, and representatives from various circles such as industry, commerce, finance, think tanks and the media.
Prior to the session, all the people attending the session paid a silent tribute to the victims of the recent terrorist attack in Nigeria.
On the same day, Li Keqiang also met with Schwab and exchanged views on China-WEF cooperation.