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Partnership with China promotes Africa's robust development, says Ethiopian expert

Xinhua | Updated: 2023-07-02 11:32

Visitors (L) shop various products at the Changsha International Convention and Exhibition Center during the third China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo in Changsha, Central China's Hunan province, July 1, 2023. [Photo/Xinhua]

ADDIS ABABA -- Partnership with China has boosted Africa's robust development, while the third China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo injects crucial impetus into further cementing the fast-changing development landscape in Africa, said an Ethiopian expert.

The expo, which runs from Thursday to Sunday in Changsha, capital of central China's Hunan Province, will strengthen the ever-expanding China-Africa trade and economic relations, with a potential to further augment China's position as "the most prominent partner of Africa," said Costantinos Berhutesfa Costantinos, a professor of public policy at Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia, in a recent interview with Xinhua.

Themed "Common Development for a Shared Future," the four-day event is attended by representatives from 53 African countries and multiple international organizations. A total of 1,500 exhibitors have signed up for this year's expo, up 70 percent from the previous edition.

China is Africa's largest trading partner and its fourth-biggest source of investment. Official data shows that bilateral trade between China and Africa stood at 282 billion U.S. dollars in 2022. In the first four months of this year, China's new direct investment in Africa reached $1.38 billion, up 24 percent year-on-year.

"China's impact on African economies has gone beyond infrastructure deals to a large array of sectors and development issues. The creation of Chinese-operated Special Economic Zones in several African countries has the potential to provide a marked boost to the manufacturing capacity of many African countries," Costantinos said.

African countries and enterprises can make better use of the expo to tap into the continent's growing manufacturing capabilities to further explore markets in China and beyond, he said.

Noting that China and Africa have been enjoying e-commerce through environmentally conscious and user-friendly interactions between buyers and sellers from both sides, the expert said the expo offers African businesses, buyers, logistics personnel and others ample resources for growth.

Meanwhile, the expo provides a much-needed experience-sharing platform, said Costantinos.

"China and Africa share similar experiences and goals. They have been supporting each other and expanding mutual political trust over time. In pursuing economic development and national rejuvenation, both sides have been helping the other and increasing the scope of cooperation," he added.

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