Speech at the Opening Ceremony of the Sino-African Education Minister Forum
Respected Madam Chen Zhili, State Counsellor, Respected Fellow Ministers, Excellencies,Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is my pleasure to observe the opening of the Sino-African Education Minister Forum today. On behalf of the Ministry of Commerce of China, I would like to extend warm welcome to education ministers and other African government officials, who have travelled all the way to China for this Forum. I also like to extend my sincere thanks to ambassadors and other diplomats present here today, and my congratulations on the opening of the forum.
Co-sponsored by the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Commerce of China, the Sino-African Education Minister Forum is one of the important follow-up activities of the China-Africa Co-operation Forum. It is also a new attempt to have multilateral education collaborations under the framework of the China Africa Co-operation Forum, and therefore bears great significance. We shall take this opportunity to exchange ideas and learn from each other, enhance mutual understanding and friendship, and further develop the friendly co-operation between China and African nations in the field of education.
Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, friends,
今年九月，胡锦涛主席在联合国发展筹资高级别会议上代表中国政府宣布了五项重大举措，包括给予39个最不发达国家部分商品零关税待遇. 免除重债穷国对华债务. 提供100亿美元优惠贷款. 增加对非洲国家援助和扩大人力资源开发合作等，充分体现了中国政府进一步加强同发展中国家特别是用非洲国家友好关系的良好愿望。
In September this year, President Hu Jintao announced five major measures at the Meeting on Financing for Development of the UN Summit, including measures to accord zero tariff treatment to certain products from the 39 LDCs, cancel debts for poor and heavily indebted countries, provide $10 billion dollars of concessional loans, increase aids to African nations and expand cooperation in human capacity building. This fully reflects the goodwill of the Chinese government to further enhance the friendly relations with other developing countries, especially African countries.
中非友谊源远流长，我们为拥有众多的非洲朋友感到无比骄傲和自豪。五十多年来，我们十分重视同非洲国家间的经贸关系，与非洲53个国家和地区建立了经贸联系。2000-2004年中非贸易平均增长率达到38%， 中非贸易趋于平衡。中国对从非洲最不发达国家进口的部分商品实施的免关税待遇，有力地促进了非洲国家向洲国的出口。同时，中国政府将继续和非洲国家一道为争取更加公平. 合理的国际贸易环境而努力。
China and Africa share a time-honoured friendship. We are extremely proud to have so many African friends. Over the past five decades, we have placed high priority on developing trade and economic relations with African countries, and established trade and economic links with 53 countries and regions in Africa. From 2000 to 2004, Sino-African trade had been growing at 38% a year and moving toward balance. The zero tariff treatment China practices on certain products from the African LDCs has effectively promoted African countries’ exports to China. At the same time, the Chinese government continues to work with African countries in a bid to seek a more equitable and rational international trading environment.
Over the past 50 years, the Chinese government has provided, as far as its capacity allows, all types of assistance to African countries, contracted more than 800 complete plant projects, covering areas such as industry, agriculture, education, healthcare, transport, broadcasting and communications, hydropower and electricity, and infrastructure. At the same time, it has also provided a huge amount of material and technical assistance to Africa, and trained a large number of technical and administrative personnel. At the first Ministerial Meeting of the China Africa Co-operation Forum in 2000, the Chinese government announced to reduce and cancel part of African countries’ debts to China. At the second Ministerial in 2003, the Chinese government pledged that it would train 10, 0000 people for Africa over the next 3 years. By the end of October this year, we have trained approximately 7,500 people for African countries.
中国政府一直积极鼓励有实力的和有信誉的中国企业到非洲开展务实合作， 投资兴业，实现互利双赢。同样，我们也愿意和非洲朋友们一起交流在吸引外资. 建设经济技术开发区方面所取得的成功经验和失败教训。
The Chinese government has always been proactively urging competent and creditworthy Chinese enterprises to Africa for substantive co-operation, investment and conduct of business. By the same token, our African friends are welcome to share with us their experiences and lessons relating to FDI attraction and the build-out of economic and technological development zones.
There is strong economic complementarity between China and Africa. The two sides shall actively explore and seek diversified ways of co-operation and enrich this co-operation. We shall actively build this cooperation beyond traditional areas such as infrastructure and human resource development to more areas like finance, science and technology.
Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, friends,
Education in China and most African countries is still relatively underdeveloped. We therefore face a common task of development, and common challenges and opportunities. China and Africa share broad prospects in education co-operation and have made a number of achievements. This Forum precisely provides new space for note-comparing between the two sides and broadens our horizon.
It is my firm conviction that with the care of leaders from both sides and through concerted efforts of the Chinese and African governments, businesses and industries, this Forum will surely be fruitful. I wish the ministers, officials a pleasant and healthy stay in China!