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Egyptian minister refutes claims of China exploiting Africa

2009-11-08 12:18 BJT

Special Report: China-Africa Cooperation Forum |

by Muhammad Yamany, Zhang Lin

Sharm EL-SHEIKH, Egypt, Nov. 7 (Xinhua) -- The Egyptian Minister of Trade and Industry Rachid Mohamed Rachid said his country supports China's role in Africa as it serves the interests of all parties, rejecting the claim that China makes unequal initiatives.

"Egypt supports the approach of China as long as it achieves mutual interests between all parties," Rachid told Xinhua in an exclusive interview on Saturday on the sidelines of the 3rd Conference of Chinese, African Entrepreneurs.

Rachid stressed that African states are able to protect their interests in cooperation with China and the claim that China makes unequal initiatives is incorrect.

"What the Chinese government is doing has many positive aspects that should be well received because China offers joint projects and funding projects that help boost African exports to China," said the minister.

Rachid strongly rejected accusations by some Western circles that China is exploiting Africa and that African-Chinese cooperation is moving in one direction, saying "I do not agree with these allegations because it is completely clear as many of China's projects promote the growth of the African continent."

He noted that the whole world buys raw materials from Africa, and China does not buy raw materials from Africa at prices lower than world prices, therefore, the claim that China is exploiting Africa is incorrect.

"The big difference between China and the rest of the world is that China is making positive initiatives for the development of African economies, so I agree with the idea to increase economic cooperation between China and Africa," said Rachid.

He explained that such cooperation is in the interest of all parties, including Egypt, pointing out that China makes a lot of offers of mutual benefits to many African countries.

The Egyptian official expressed his happiness for the convening of this conference and the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) and the presence of this major gathering of Chinese business leaders and Africans.

The 3rd Conference of Chinese, African Entrepreneurs kicked off on Saturday afternoon in Sharm el-Sheikh.

"This conference is a real opportunity to explore new ways of cooperation between Africa and China," Rachid said, adding "there is a great development in the Sino-African trade relations in the past few years."

"The years to come would witness further progress in China-Africa cooperation," he added, expressing his hope that the conference would promote more cooperative projects between China and Africa in the future.

Ministers of trade, industry and commerce from China and African countries as well as over 800 businessmen from both sides attended the meeting.

Editor: Zhang Pengfei | Source: Xinhua