China welcomes African free trade area

Staff Writer | Jul 11, 2019
Beijing’s statement followed the summit in Niger at which African governments launched the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) as an attempt to boost and stimulate intra-African trade.

China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said the launch of AfCFTA was ‘a milestone of Africa's economic integration process’.

‘As African countries' good friend, partner and brother, China warmly congratulates Africa for the official launch of the AfCFTA …. It demonstrates the aspiration and resolve of African countries to seek strength and invigoration through unity. It bears significant and far-reaching importance to Africa's economic and social development. Faced with rising instability and uncertainties worldwide, the launch of the AfCFTA injects strong impetus into multilateralism, free trade and an open world economy’.

Shuang also noted that ‘as Africa's biggest trading partner (over the past decade), China has been a staunch supporter for its unity and FTA-building through efforts in infrastructure connectivity, trade facilitation and industrial promotion’.

The launch of the Free Trade Area ‘breaks new ground for China-Africa cooperation’.

‘China will work with Africa to implement the outcomes of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation Beijing Summit, create more synergy (within) China-Africa cooperation under the (Africa-focused) Belt and Road Initiative and the AfCFTA, work for more early harvests and offer more assistance to Africa for greater connectivity, (a) better business environment and higher quality trade’.


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