BEIJING, Aug. 23 (Xinhuanet) -- The core content of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is connectivity, and all the elements of it are what African countries need, said Zeng Aiping, deputy executive director of the China-Asian African Cooperation Centre, in a recent interview with Xinhuanet.
The Belt and Road Initiative is mainly a development initiative, according to Zeng.
Recently, China has signed cooperation documents with two of the African countries: Senegal and Rwanda on the BRI.
Zeng believed this has signified that an increasing number of African countries attach significant importance to China's proposal of the initiative, adding that "The BRI would be better understood and recognized by African countries."
"Especially in the areas of trade, infrastructure and investment, China can do a lot—or the Belt and Road Initiative can do a lot—and contribute a lot to African development," Zeng noted.
According to the statistics by China Customs, in January-December 2017, the import and export value of China-Africa trade amounted to US$170 billion, up 14.1% year on year, 2.7 percentage points higher than the general increase of foreign trade in the same period.
Zeng held a positive attitude towards total trade volume between China and Africa after the implementing of the Belt and Road Initiative.
He believed the initiative would certainly boost and further promote the trade volume between the two sides.
He firmly agreed that with the joint efforts of China and Africa, the Belt and Road Initiative would contribute enormously to the common development and prosperity of China and African countries.
"African countries are the natural partners of the Belt and Road Initiative. I am optimistic about the prospect of both African development and China's development," he concluded.