Beijing prepares new aid package for Mozambique

25 January 2007

Beijing, China, 25 Jan – The president of China, Hu Jintao, is set to announce new plans for aid to Mozambique during his official visit to the country as part of a diplomatic tour of Africa, China’s deputy foreign minister said in Beijing Wednesday.

“President Hu Jintao will present new measures to support Mozambique during the visit and will sign several economic and commercial cooperation documents,” said Zhai Jun in a press conference Thursday with specifying the nature of the development aid to be provided.

Zhai said, however, that the measures were part of the areas of support for Africa that the Chinese president had announced in November at the China-Africa Cooperation Forum Summit and included providing preferential loans, creating a China-Africa fund for development for companies to use and pardoning debts owed by less developed African countries, as is the case with Mozambique.

Other policies that Hu announced in November were easing the entry of African products to the Chinese market, increasing the number of products exempt from import taxes and, over the next three years, setting up a maximum of five areas of commercial and economic cooperation with Africa.

As well as Mozambique, Hu will visit South Africa, Namibia, Zambia, Cameroon, Liberia, the Sudan and the Seychelles between January 30 and February 10.

Hu is scheduled to meet with Mozambican president, Armando Guebuza and will open one of ten Special Agricultural Technology Demonstration Centers that Beijing is building in Africa.

According to Zhai, in the first eleven months of 2006, trade between China and Mozambique totaled US$190 million.

“It is not much, but it is five times more than the trade in 2001,” he said.

Beijing and Maputo have had diplomatic relations since Mozambican independence on June 25, 1975 and as part of its cooperation with Mozambique, the Chinese government has built, over the last 15 years, the parliament building, the Joaquim Chissano conference centers, and the country’s foreign ministry. China will also build the future national stadium in Maputo. (macauhub)

MACAUHUB FRENCH