Fifth Investing in Africa Forum kicked off in Brazzaville, aiming at boosting economic integration and development.
BRAZZAVILLE, Sept. 11 (Xinhua) -- The Fifth Investing in Africa Forum kicked off in Brazzaville, capital of the Republic of Congo on Tuesday, with a focus on leveraging partnerships for economic diversification and jobs creation in African economies.
Guests pose for a group photo in Brazzaville, capital of the Republic of Congo, Sept. 10, 2019. (Xinhua/Wang Songyu)
In opening remarks, Moussa Faki Mahamat, chairperson of the African Union (AU) Commission, said the forum came at a right time because the continent had launched the operational phase of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement, which is aimed at boosting economic integration and development.
He said the topics of the forum were important for that goal and the forum would increase investment into Africa.
When delivering opening remarks, Republic of Congo President Denis Sassou Nguesso said Chinese investment had contributed a lot to the economic development in Africa, calling for strengthened cooperation between China and African countries in areas including digital technologies and infrastructure construction.
The president stressed that the partnership forged by Africa, China and international financial institutions will produce a win-win outcome in the continent.
Other heads of state attending the opening ceremony include Felix Tshisekedi, president of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Angolan President Joao Lourenco, Central African Republic President Faustin Archange Touadera, and Rwandan President Paul Kagame. They all made remarks on issues related to the economic diversification and job creation in the continent.
Xu Hongcai, Vice Minister of China's Ministry of Finance, Liu Jin, Executive Vice President of China Development Bank, and Sergio Pimenta, World Bank Group Regional Vice President for Middle East and Africa also delivered speeches at the ceremony. The Chinese officials said China pledged to enhance its cooperation with Africa and would help boost the continent's economic development.
Official statistics show that China has been the largest trading partner of Africa for ten consecutive years. In 2018, trade volume between China and Africa amounted to some 204.2 billion U.S. dollars, up 20 percent year on year.
Following the opening ceremony, a total of seven documents, including a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for China-Africa regional aviation cooperation and an MOU for the overall cooperation on African cement projects, were signed.
The three-day event, co-organized by the government of the Republic of Congo, China's Ministry of Finance, China Development Bank and the World Bank Group, attracted about 400 delegates from African countries, China and international organizations.
Delegates were expected to discuss such issues as human capital development, digital revolution, innovations and the new service economy, public-private partnerships, and investment climate during the forum.