BEIJING, Sept. 8 (Xinhua) -- Digital trade has strengthened economic ties between Rwanda and China and will boost Africa-China cooperation "beyond our imagination," Rwandan Ambassador to China James Kimonyo has said here.
At the moment, "we are enjoying the best balance of cooperation with China in our history," Kimonyo told Xinhua in an interview on Sunday at the ongoing 2020 China International Fair for Trade in Services.
Two years before the services trade fair, Rwanda and China's e-commerce giant Alibaba signed an agreement over the Electronic World Trade Platform initiative, making Rwanda the first African country to join the initiative.
This year, the ambassador joined live streaming events for the first time. He said he was surprised to see thousands of packets of Rwandan coffee sold "in a second."
Local producers say they have received orders from Chinese companies since the launch, according to Kimonyo.
Small and medium enterprises have benefited from the e-commerce platforms which could help them gain direct access to a greater market at a lower cost, he said.
"This is making the whole difference in the value chain," he added.
Since the creation of the African Continental Free Trade Area, which covers more than 1.2 billion people, Kimonyo said that "the African continent has already opened its markets to become one."
Meanwhile, noting that China is both a leading importer and exporter across the globe, the ambassador said they "are happy to see that China has bounced back."
"It has quickly recovered from this (COVID-19) pandemic, which gives hope to China, but also to the world," he said, adding that the more China grows, "the more our people become prosperous." Enditem