Beijing Programme for China-Africa Cooperation in Economic and Social Development, 12 October 2000

The Forum on China-Africa Co-operation - Ministerial Conference 2000 was held in Beijing, China from 10 to 12 October 2000. Ministers from China and 44 African countries exchanged views and are convinced of the imperatives for a dynamic, new strategic partnership between Africa and the PRC. The Ministers commit themselves to co-operating in all fields, especially social and economic development, on the basis of equality and mutual respect with a view to renewing, developing and expanding China-Africa co-operation in the 21st century.
1. FOREWORD

1.1 The Ministers reviewed with satisfaction the results of the co-operation between China and African countries over the past 50 years. The Ministers believe that such co-operation, not only directly benefits their peoples, but also enhances friendship and mutual understanding. The Ministers note that China and African countries have made great efforts in recent years to explore new forms of co-operation, particularly between enterprises. They, however, note that both Africa and China still have great potential, which should be properly managed and strategically directed for their mutual benefit.

1.2 The Ministers also agree that, in view of the present unjust and inequitable world order, China and African countries should position themselves to influence the establishment of a new world order which will reflect their needs and interests. To this end, they agree to adopt a workable programme towards the creation of a new strategic partnership for sustainable development in the 21st century.

1.3 The Ministers further observe that globalisation currently presents more challenges and risks than opportunities to the vast number of developing countries and therefore express their determination to strengthen the existing co-operation between China and African countries in all fields. They also agree to earnestly explore new ideas and strategies to develop their respective economies and enhance their capabilities to participate in globalisation.

1.4 In pursuit of the foregoing objectives the Ministers reiterate that China and African countries will honour the following principles of co-operation for their future development :

1.4.1 equality and mutual benefit

1.4.2 diversity in form and content

1.4.3 emphasis on practical results

1.4.4 pursuit of common progress

1.4.5 amicable settlement of differences

2. INTER-GOVERNMENTAL CO-OPERATION

2.1 The Ministers maintain that the two sides should use and improve the existing bilateral consultation mechanisms to strengthen inter- governmental links, explore new areas of co-operation, closely monitor the progress in their co-operation and share experiences in order to enhance their mutually beneficial partnership. In light of the development and changes in their bilateral economic and trade relations, the two sides agree to continue to review and conclude agreements as necessary, with a view to encouraging preferential market access for products from African countries into China.

2.2 The Ministers agree to promote the exchange of high-level visits and conduct regular inter-governmental dialogue and co-operation, so as to create a favourable climate for business contacts and trade between China and Africa. In addition, they undertake to promote positive interaction with relevant trade and commercial organisations and assist in the establishment of effective communication links between such organisations in China and Africa, in order to ensure that they play an active role in the development of our economies.

2.3 The Chinese government undertakes to continue to cooperate with and provide development assistance to African countries, focusing on the promotion of local industries, sourcing of local materials and the creation of employment. Such development assistance should support national policies of African countries and be awarded in consultation with national governments. Projects will be aimed at the utilisation of local expertise and materials, the creation of local employment and the development of human resources of African countries.

2.4 To support African countries in their economic and social development, the Chinese side undertakes to continue providing assistance to African countries, within its capacity, in light of specific economic conditions of the recipient countries and within the framework of South-South co-operation. This support will mainly take the form of aid grants, concessional loans and interest-free loans to be mainly used in areas determined by both sides.

3. TRADE AND INVESTMENT

3.1 The Ministers acknowledge progress in the area of trade and investment promotion and express their readiness to develop a strategy by creating an enabling legal and business environment, so that such co-operation will gradually play a leading role in the China-Africa economic partnership.

3.2 The Ministers agree to conclude an appropriate legal framework on :

3.2.1 trade promotion and capacity building;
3.2.2 encouragement, protection and guarantee of investments;

3.2.3 avoidance of double taxation;

3.2.4 enhancement of co-operation in marine shipping and air transportation

3.3 The Ministers agree to undertake joint efforts to improve trade and investment environment through such measures as granting each other preferential treatment in conformity with existing national laws, equitable treatment to all investors together with investment guarantees and just settlement of eventual disputes, in accordance with internationally accepted rules and practices.


4. TRADE

4.1 The Ministers note the necessity to move towards balanced and enhanced trade and acknowledge the need to assist in improving the production capacity in Africa and in diversifying the composition of African exports. They pledge to collaborate and share experience in overcoming Africa's export dependence on primary commodities, single products and raw materials.

4.2 The Ministers stress the need to harmonise their trade policies and to participate actively in trade negotiations, including within the framework of the WTO, in order to ensure that the multilateral trading system contributes to enhanced competitiveness, economic growth and sustainable development of their countries.
4.3 The Ministers express the readiness of their business communities to vigorously explore and benefit from all opportunities offered by their respective markets, in an enterprising spirit, while complying with internationally accepted norms and quality standards in their exported products.

4.4 Noting with concern the imbalance in the two-way trade and the need to address it as soon as possible, the Chinese side undertakes to:
4.4.1 encourage its enterprises to give preference to the import of African products in the light of market demand and conditions;

4.4.2 strive to make its investment and trade centers in Africa a success, and to facilitate the establishment of similar centers of African countries in China, so that these centers will play an effective bridging role in facilitating exchanges and communications between enterprises of the two sides;

4.4.3 establish a China-Africa Joint Business Council in co-ordination with the Chambers of Commerce of African countries and professional organisations, so as to put in place a dialogue and consultation mechanism with African enterprises and promote economic co-operation and trade between them; and

4.4.4 establish a China-Africa Products Exhibition Center in China to promote two-way trade and facilitate access for African products to the Chinese market.
4.5 The Ministers state the importance of providing better and preferential access to the Chinese market for African exports of commercial importance.
4.6 The Ministers agree to ensure better access to each other's market, in the context of multilateral trade liberalisation and progress made with due regard to regional integration arrangements in Africa.

5. INVESTMENT

5.1 The Ministers pledge to encourage mutual investments by their enterprises, the exchange of experience in business management, the setting up of joint ventures or sole ownership enterprises, including small or medium ones and the establishment of joint business fora, as key factors in the China-Africa economic partnership.

5.2 The Chinese side will set aside special funds to support and encourage investment by well-established Chinese enterprises in African countries to set up joint equity or co-operation projects adapted to local needs in terms of job creation and transfer of technologies.

5.3 The Chinese side agrees to share with African countries its experience in the field of investment promotion relating to the establishment and management of free and special economic zones.

5.4 The Ministers agree to identify their complementarities in order to invest in common projects through bilateral and/or trilateral co- operation channels.

5.5 They agree that the Joint Business Council to be established between their public/private sectors will be aimed at organising regular business meetings among their economic operators and professional organisations as well as training seminars on doing business with special focus on their market specific aspects.

5.6 The Ministers express their readiness to develop further, as necessary, the finance schemes needed to implement mutual investment and economic partnership between China and Africa.

6. COOPERATION IN ENGINEERING AND OTHER INFRASTRUCTURAL PROJECTS

6.1 The Ministers positively appraise the co-operation between the two sides in engineering projects in African countries. The Chinese side will continue to encourage well-established Chinese enterprises to participate in economic and infrastructure construction and development projects in African countries. It also expresses its readiness to make available its modern and appropriate technologies, as well as managerial expertise, in various areas such as engineering contracting, technical and management co-operation. It will also encourage these enterprises to enhance co-operation with their counterparts in Africa and employ, as well as train more local people, including the usage of locally available resources. In such co- operation, the Chinese side may also consider accepting various forms of payment such as payment in kind, to ease African countries' financial burden and help increase their export to China.

7. FINANCIAL COOPERATION

7.1 Noting that co-operation between financial institutions of China and African countries just started, the Ministers express their determination to encourage them to vigorously look into the possibility of co-operating in such forms as parallel- and co-financing arrangements. They believe that it is imperative to continue to enhance financial co-operation between China and the African Development Bank Group (ADB), the Eastern and Southern African Trade and Development Bank (PTA) and other multilateral financial institutions in Africa, in particular to implement the bilateral agreement on technical co-operation concluded between China and the ADB.


8. DEBT RELIEF AND CANCELLATION

8.1 The Ministers note with concern that the heavy debt burden not only seriously hampers the economic growth of African countries, but also causes worsening social problems. They welcome the international efforts for debt relief or cancellation over the past few years and call on developed countries and international financial institutions that are main creditors to fulfil their commitments at an early date. The momentum on debt relief over the past years must be maintained and developed.

8.2 The Chinese side notes that African debt to China does not constitute the bulk of the continent's debt stock and that China is herself a developing country and a net debtor. Notwithstanding this, the Chinese side expresses its readiness to help relieve the debt burden of African countries. In this connection, the Chinese side undertakes to reduce or cancel debt amounting to 10 billion RMB yuan owed by the heavily indebted poor countries and least developed countries in Africa in the coming two years. The details will be discussed through bilateral channels.

8.3 The Ministers recognise that China, as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, is a significant partner in developing support around the issue of debt relief for Africa.


9. TOURISM

9.1 The Ministers acknowledge that tourism is an important activity which has the potential for generating financial resources that will help Africa's accelerated economic growth, the creation of employment opportunities and the alleviation of poverty. They agree to cooperate in promoting tourism and undertake to encourage investment in the development of tourism infrastructure and capacity, with specific focus on the development of small, micro and medium enterprises.


10. MIGRATION

10.1 The Ministers agree that their respective governments will facilitate the processing of applications for work permits and visas, in line with the existing legislation and policy pertaining to migration, and that deficiencies will be addressed within the framework of bilateral agreements.


11. AGRICULTURAL COOPERATION

11.1 The Ministers express their readiness to share their respective countries' experience in various fields of agricultural development and fisheries.

11.2 Realising the vital importance of agricultural development to climinating poverty and ensuring food security, the Ministers are determined to take all the necessary measures to ensure successful co-operation in this area.

11.3 The two sides also agree to further explore effective ways of trilateral co-operation among China, African countries and the relevant international institutions such as the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).

12. EXPLORATION AND UTILISATION OF NATURAL RESOURCES AND ENERGY

12.1 Cognisant of the importance of their respective natural resources, the two sides agree to co-operate in the use of such resources. China agrees that Africa needs to beneficiate its agricultural, mineral and metallurgical resources, in order to generate industrial economic activities. In this regard, China agrees to promote investment in and exploration and beneficiation of metallurgical resources and that such beneficiation should be done in Africa.

12.2 The Ministers agree to facilitate the exploration and beneficiation of such resources on a reciprocal basis with due consideration to sound environmental practices.

13. SCIENTIFIC, TECHNOLOGICAL AND CULTURAL COOPERATION

13.1 Aware of the importance of scientific, technological and cultural co-operation, the two sides commit themselves to :

13.1.1 enhancing co-operation in the areas of basic and applied research, and development and transfer of technology.supporting the upgrading of Africa's indigenous technologies

13.1.2 working together for the extension of technologies already developed and employed, such as utilisation of solar energy, disaster prevention, management and relief, as well as development of water resources, so as to make them serve the economic revitalisation of both China and African countries; and

13.1.3 increasing cultural exchanges, particularly the exchange of visits by high-level cultural delegations and sports and art groups, setting up more art exhibitions in each other's territory, and making a greater effort to study and promote each other's culture.

14. COOPERATION IN MEDICAL CARE AND PUBLIC HEALTH

14.1 Recognising the positive role of the Chinese medical teams in Africa and grateful for the efforts of the Chinese government in this regard, the African Ministers welcome the commitment made by the Chinese side to send more medical teams to African countries and they promise to create suitable working and living conditions for these teams.

14.2 The Chinese side agrees to give positive consideration to the requests of African countries and promises to continue to provide them with medical equipment, facilities, medicine and more training to local medical personnel, and promote co-operation in the use of traditional medicine and pharmacea, so as to ensure more fruitful results in such co-operation.

14.3 The two sides agree to conduct co-operation in such areas as reducing infant and material mortality rates, and preventing and treating HIV/AIDS, malaria, tropical and other diseases.

15. EDUCATION AND HUMAN RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT

15.1 The Ministers agree to expand co-operation in education and human resources development. The Chinese side pledges to:

15.1.1 grant more scholarships to African students to study in China, continue to send teachers to Africa to help local institutions of higher learning improve their disciplines and specialities, and set up channels of communications between universities of the two sides for the study of the Chinese and African civilisations; and

15.1.2 establish an African Human Resources Development Fund and gradually increase financial contribution to the Fund for the training of professionals of different disciplines for African countries.

15.2 The two sides agree to work out country-specific training plans through appropriate channels, identify specific co-operation projects and facilitate their implementation.


16. ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT AND BIO-DIVERSITY

16.1 The Ministers support international efforts towards environmental management and sustainable human development. The two sides express their commitment to the key elements of the various environmental conventions and undertake to forge closer co-operation and joint participation in capacity building for integrating environmental management in national development.

16.2 In pursuit of this, China and Africa undertake to cooperate in all fields of environmental management, including pollution control, bio-diversity conservation, protection of forest eco-systems, fisheries and wildlife management in order to ensure economic and sustainable human development.

17. TRILATERAL COOPERATION

17.1 The two sides stress the importance of the development of trilateral co-operation to achieve the objectives contained in the present programme of co-operation and the promotion of Sino-African relations, notably within the framework of South-South co-operation. They note that such an initiative will lead to the effective utilisation of available financial resources for the further development of human and natural resources of the countries involved.


18. COOPERATION ON ARMS CONTROL

18.1 The Ministers express deep concern at the large influx of small arms and light weapons to conflict areas in Africa and agree that this constitutes a threat to peace, security/stability and development on the continent. They pledge to fully cooperate at international fora to prevent and combat the problem of illicit proliferation, circulation and trafficking of small arms and light weapons.


19. MULTILATERAL COOPERATION

19.1 Convinced of the pivotal importance of closer South-South co-operation under the current circumstances, the two sides agree to:

19.1.1 strengthen co-operation and consultation at multilateral fora such as the UN System, UNCTAD, and the WTO, so as to safeguard the common interests of the developing countries; and

19.1.2 co-ordinate positions in reforming multilateral economic and trade regimes and formulating relevant rules, with a view to increasing the collective bargaining capacity of developing countries, and make joint efforts towards the democratisation of international relations and the establishment of a just and equitable new international economic order.

19.2 The Ministers agree to work for the reform of the United Nations and particularly the UN Security Council that will be geographically representative. We call for the recognition of the legitimate place due to Africa in the Security Council, the organisations and specialised agencies of the United Nation system.


20. FOLLOW-UP MECHANISMS

20.1 The Ministers agree to establish corresponding committees for follow- up actions of the Forum on China-Africa Co-operation at Ministerial level.

20.2 The two sides agree to set up joint follow-up mechanisms at various levels. Under these mechanisms, the Ministers will meet in three years time to evaluate progress in the implementation of the Programme, Senior Officials in two years time and Ambassadors resident in China on a regular basis. The Senior Officials Meetings and the Ministerial Conferences will be convened in China and Africa on an alternate basis within the framework of the Forum on China- Africa Co-operation.

Quick Links:

Disclaimer | Contact Us | HomeLast Updated: 13 February, 2004 8:59 AM
This site is best viewed using 800 x 600 resolution with Internet Explorer 5.0, Netscape Communicator 4.5 or higher.
2003 Department of Foreign Affairs, Republic of South Africa