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Africa welcomes China’s help to bolster exports

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia | Xinhua | Africa welcomes the “generous offer” China is set to provide members of the African Union (AU) to help augment exports in the coming years, a senior official has said.

Wamkele Mene, the secretary-general of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), told Xinhua that Africa welcomes China’s investments and trade partnership based on mutual benefits.

“We welcome the generous offer of China to boost Africa’s export capacity. Individual countries and regions’ capacity to export to China is improving day by day,” Mene said at the sidelines of the 35th AU Summit.

Mene mentioned China’s efforts to build a green channel for African agricultural exports and expand zero-tariff treatment for products imported from Africa, in a bid to import products worth 300 billion U.S. dollars from Africa in the next three years.

Regarding the establishment of the China-Africa industrial park, Mene expressed hope that the park will expand the African market.

“The industrial park is to be fully considered with the support of our partners with China. We will have to look at what products, which areas and services are, including the industrial park and integrated AfCFTA market,” he said.

Mene said increasing African exports to China would benefit Africa’s industrialization.

African leaders are meeting in the flesh for the first time since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic at the 35th AU Summit, which is currently underway and ends on Sunday at the headquarters of the AU in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.

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