10 June 2019

Namibians Urged to Capture 'Golden Chance'of First China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo

Windhoek — Chinese Ambassador to Namibia, Zhang Yiming, has urged Namibian companies to capture the 'golden chance' provided by the first China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo to be held in Changsha, the capital of central China's Hunan province, from June 18 to 20, 2019. Zhang made this call while briefing media in Windhoek last week on the widely publicised China-US trade friction.

He said the economic and trade expo will provide new opportunities and prospects of economic and trade cooperation between China and Namibia.

"I sincerely welcome friends from Namibia to actively participate in the expos and seize the opportunity to explore Chinese markets, so as to promote the development of China-Namibia economic cooperation to a higher level and higher quality," he said.

The expo is part of a slew of promises made by President Xi Jinping during last September's Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (Focac) in Beijing.

During his speech to African leaders, President Xi proposed eight initiatives aimed at pursuing a "win-win" strategy giving new impetus to economic, political, and security collaboration.

He had specifically pointed to the changing global dynamics, noting how the international order was changing and emerging nations were rising.

To solidify relations, Xi had said Beijing will launch an industrial promotion initiative aimed at encouraging Chinese companies to increase their investments in Africa. China also promised to exempt some poorer nations from debt, increase imports from Africa, help promote African brand products, support the African Continental Free Trade Area (ACFTA), and give 100 000 scholarships and training opportunities to young Africans.

Xi also said Beijing will exempt least developed African states from paying exhibition fees at its annual high-level China International Import Expo.

China's commitment to balancing the "win-win" strategy with Africa came as it faced allegations from American officials and others of encouraging dependency and debt. After all, Chinese lending to the continent jumped tenfold in the last five years, a borrowing spree that many worry could push debt limits to unsustainable levels.

Beijing, however, pushed against these sentiments, committing some US$60 billion in 2018 to development projects in Africa over the next three years.

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