The 3rd Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) took place in Beijing during the 2nd and 3rd September 2018. Themed "China and Africa: Towards an Even Stronger Community with a Shared Future through Win-Win Cooperation", the two-day meeting will enable participants discuss the means to develop cooperation between China and Africa in the framework of a win-win partnership.
At the opening ceremony, Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged 60 billion dollars in funding for African countries to push for infrastructure projects. Xi said that China would provide 60 billion dollars in loans and other forms of aid and investment. Discussions at this conference focused on the means to further enhance exchanges and cooperation between business communities of China and Africa in several areas, including industrialization, trade and infrastructure. With more than 10,000 companies active on the continent generating $60 billion a year in industrial production, trade to the tune of $122 billion and non-financial direct investment that rose by 31% to reach $2.5 billion in 2016, China is Africa’s most important trading partner today.
The launch of the “One Belt, One Road” initiative, a true reshaping of China's international economic policy, means Africa needs to equip itself with the tools to effectively receive and use Chinese investments to accelerate its economic transition. In this context, the CAIF will facilitate business meetings between the main stakeholders of trade and investment between China and Africa in order to foster the creation of sustainable partnerships with high added value, particularly in the industrial sector.
Morocco Calls for Stronger China-Africa Cooperation to face Continent Challenges
Strengthening China-Africa cooperation to address the challenges facing the continent, notably cross-border terrorism, migration, organized crime and climate change, said the Morocco Head of government Saad-Eddine El Othmani.
According to the statement it is possible to counteract the challenges facing Africa "through the continent's determination, as well as the help and support of its sincere partners", adding that the international system is undergoing profound changes, both in the parties that influence it and in the ways it is managed. Although Africa has voluntarily joined a significant set of bilateral and continental cooperation fora for decades, the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation has a special importance, he said, stressing that the Beijing Summit "will boost relations, based to this end on cooperation and mutual respect, as well as on the willingness and commitment of member States to strengthen and improve these ties," according to the statement.
El Othmani also expressed the "esteem of the Kingdom of Morocco towards the People's Republic of China, for having ensured that this forum was a unique meeting distinguished by its philosophy, management methods, mechanisms, objectives and orientations, but also by the nature of its output".
The forum is a platform for exchange, dialogue and privileged cooperation, which constitutes a conducive framework to enrich the strategic elements of Chinese-African relations and broaden the prospects for effective cooperation between the two sides. Morocco is committed to improving the business climate for Moroccan and foreign investors to attract more investment towards the African continent, in line with the African policy launched by HM King Mohammed VI.
Morocco Chinese relations boosted through talks
Chinese president Xi Jinping received, on Wednesday at Beijing's Great Hall of the People, head of government Saâd Eddine El Othmani, who handed him a written message from HM King Mohammed VI. The royal message, which reiterates the Kingdom of Morocco's commitment to developing strategic cooperation with the People's Republic of China, includes an invitation from the Sovereign to the Chinese president to visit Morocco, El Othmani told the press.
At the audience, held on the sidelines of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (3-4 September), the Chinese head of State had reiterated his country's commitment to supporting the issue of Morocco's territorial integrity and preserving its distinguished relations with the Kingdom, while stressing the need to step up efforts to further promote these links, the head of government noted.
The meeting was an opportunity to highlight the People's Republic of China's commitment to supporting the issue of national unity and the territorial integrity of the Kingdom "both as part of bilateral relations and at the international level", he said, noting that Xi Jinping had praised, on this occasion, Morocco's position in support of his country's national unity.
The head of government also highlighted the Chinese president's interest in the African policy of HM the king and his concern to develop Chinese-Moroccan-African tripartite cooperation to support development on the continent.
Morocco and China signed, on 2014, over thirty cooperation agreements and memorandums of understanding to boost bilateral trade and cooperation. Signed during the Moroccan-Chinese business forum, the agreements provide for cooperation in the sectors of energy and mining, tourism, finance and banking. Over 550 Moroccan and Chinese businessmen took part in the Forum themed "promising prospects for an excellent strategic partnership."
Morocco is China’s second trading partner in Africa, while China is Morocco’s 4th trading partner. In 2013, trade between the two countries rose by 4.8% compared to 2012 to stand at 3.69 billion dollars.