2019-03-21 09:40:25 source: Zhejiang News; Editor: Yongliu He
Zhejiang-Africa Economic and Trade Cooperation and Exchange Conference was held in Hangzhou, capital city of Zhejiang Province, March 1, 2019. According to the statistics, Zhejiang Province’s total import and export volume with Africa exceeded USD 30 billion, of which imports increased by 24%. As it is stated in the Action Plan for Promoting Zhejiang-Africa Economic and Trade Cooperation revealed during the conference, Zhejiang aims to boost the import and export volume to USD 30 billion before 2022.
The trade between Zhejiang and Africa has witnessed a continuous growth with import and export structure turning more diversified. South African wine, Ethiopian coffee, Kenyan black tea and handicraft are gaining wider popularity among Zhejiang consumers. By the end of 2018, the number of Africans in Zhejiang was approximately 20,000. And the investment by Zhejiang enterprises in Africa amounted to USD 3.1 billion, focusing more on health services, security, e-commerce and culture rather than traditional industries such as textile and wholesale in the past.
Against the backdrop of friendship between China and Africa, the exchange and cooperation between Zhejiang and Africa has reached a new stage. Efforts were shown in the frequent high-level exchanges in 2018. In April, 2018, the President of Zimbabwe led a delegation and attended the Zimbabwe-Zhejiang Business Forum held in Zhejiang; In June, 2018, Che Jun, the Zhejiang Provincial Party Secretary, visited Zimbabwe, South Africa and Mauritius, and the Zhejiang Provincial Department of Commerce organized a series of ‘Belt and Road’ themed events; On September 6, 2018, President of Senegal came to Hangzhou for the China-Africa Private Sector Cooperation Summit, a side event of the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC); On September 7, 2018, the President of Togo attended the Togo-Zhejiang Business Forum held in Hangzhou.
Rich in natural and human resources, African countries are in the midst of industrialization and urbanization. As a developed Chinese province with advantages in institutional mechanisms, business environment, digital economy and private businesses, Zhejiang has the capability to support the continent with funds, technology, management experience and talents. By working with all sides, Zhejiang and African countries are to see more positive outcomes in the future.