Nigeria, Congo-Brazzaville, and Ethiopia, among others, are to enjoy zero tariff set by the Chinese Government for imported products from the African continent, China’s Deputy Director-General, Department of Africa Affairs, in the Ministry of Finance, Ambassador Dai Bing, has said.
He added that Nigeria and other beneficiary African countries would enjoy several poverty alleviation programmes under the Chinese intensive development programme for the African continent.
Dai stated that under the programme, China started with four provinces: Shantou; Chenzhen; Xiamen and Zhuhai. He said if the succeeds, it can expand to other areas, but if it doesn’t, the negative effect can be curtailed. “We have chosen some African countries for industrial cooperation namely Nigeria, Congo-Brazzaville, Ethiopia and others,” he said.
The Chinese envoy added that China already has a 10-point action plan for and with Africa. They are industrialisation, agriculture modernisation, infrastructure, financial services, and development.
Other include trade and investment facilities (which will centre mostly on promotion of African trade in China); poverty alleviation (Dai made reference to China’s poverty alleviation programme, which he said has already taken 730 million people out of poverty, with only 50 poor people remaining.
According to him, China also hopes to get rid of poverty in Africa in five years and hopes to share its experience in poverty alleviation with Nigeria. He said in the area of public health, China has good medication for malaria eradication, which Nigeria can benefit from.
With regards to the Forum of China and Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), Dai said that the 10 action plan was closely linked with Africa’s 2063 development agenda, which the country has already keyed into. He said this was agreed at a summit in Johannesburg, South Africa, in 2015.
“At the summit, our President announced the 10 point agenda plan between China and Africa. And this 10 point cooperation plan has closed relations with your agenda 2063. We have started deeply on the 2063 agenda. We know the priority and the directions of the African continent,” Dai stated.
He noted that in China’s cooperation plan, the priority was industralisation and agriculture, which are also the African continent’s priority. “The Chinese Government also promised $60 billion as supporting fund for our cooperation.
“This $60 billion funding support is not only the cash. So, in this $60 billion, only $5 billion is used for non -interest loans; or $8 billion for the next three years. They are based on an all -beneficial principle, to help African countries promote their living standards and capability-building,” he explained.
Dai said the other $35 billion is a beneficial loan; $20 billion is for capital projects. The money will be invested in sustainable development of infrastructure and assistance in Africa to help improve their business environment.
“We are here to learn two principles; the first principle is that any country that wishes to absorb any foreign investment must have sound funds and complete laws and regulations and fair environment for law enforcement, which would ensure that investors feel safe.
“It must have beneficial/proficient policies to ensure investors feel pleased to make profit. It must have light efficient and practical one-stop government services to make investors feel comfortable…” he said.