Beijing: The Angolan Planning minister, Ana Dias Lourenço, Thursday in Beijing mentioned agriculture, development of infrastructures, trade and energy as the areas of priority in which China can invest in Africa to reach the Millennium Development Goals. The minister who based her speech on the view of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC), added aggregation of values, climate changes, trade and energy as priority areas in fighting poverty, underdevelopment and instability.
"Looking ahead, SADC believes that the priority areas in which China can work, through the Forum China-Africa Cooperation (FOFAC) with Africa are agriculture, development of infrastructures, aggregation of values, climate changes, trade and energy," said Ana Dias Lourenço.
The Angolan minister was speaking on behalf of SADC, during the opening of the 5th Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation taking place in Beijing.
Meanwhile, addressing the opening of the meeting, the Chinese president Hu Jintao announced new credits for Africa, totalling Usd 20 billion to cover the construction of infrastructures, agriculture, industry and small and medium size business.
Going with the theme "Build on past achievements and open up new prospects for the new type of China-Africa strategic partnership", the meeting is also being attended by the United Nations secretary general, Ban-Ki-moon.
The event is also assessing the implementation of proposals from the 4th Ministerial Conference held in Egypt in 2009 and outlining the model for Sino-Africa relations in the coming three years.
The Beijing 2013/ 2015 Action Plan has already got the support of the SADC group and of the African countries at large.
The Angolan Planning minister assured that the African countries are ready to maximise the opportunity China is offering with new cooperation prospect with Africa and opening of its market to African products.
Until now, the zero tariff products for the least developed countries seem to be mainly those manufactured and processed, while Africa enjoys a true competitive and comparative advantage regarding the raw materials and processed agricultural goods, said the minister.
On the other hand, Ana Dias Lourenço invited the Asian giant nation to support Africa through FOFAC, so the continent can have its voice heard and represented at international forums like the United Nations Security Council, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, World Trade Organisation and other strategic organisations like the G-20.
Since its inception in 2000, FOCAC has grown in its status and has become an important mechanism for collective dialogue between China and Africa, characterised by the search for strategic alliances to ensure the access to natural resources that are abundant and lie idle in Africa, with bilateral trade reaching 83 percent since 2009, according to the Chinese Commerce Ministry.
In 2011, China-Africa trade reached a record of Usd 166,3 billion. China remained Africa's major trade partner for three running years, while more than 2,000 Chinese firms settled in Africa with full direct investments of Usd 14,7 billion. Angola is one of China's main economic partners in Africa.
The Angolan delegation to the meeting is headed by the Planning minister, Ana Dias Lourenço, and includes the secretary of State for Cooperation of the Foreign Ministry, the ambassador to the People's Republic of China, and other officials of the ministries of Foreign Affairs and Planning.