China’s President to announce pardon of Mozambican debt

1 February 2007

Maputo, Mozambique, 1 Feb – The President of China, Hu Jintao, is to announce the pardon of Mozambique’s bilateral debt during his official visit to the country, Mozambique’s Treasury Director, António Laíce said Wednesday in Maputo.

Speaking to Portuguese news agency Lusa, Laíce said that the Chinese government had sent a proposal for cancelling the debt, which included pardoning 95 percent of it and re-negotiating the remaining 5 percent.

The Chinese authorities said Monday that the country planned to pardon the debt of 33 African countries.

During his visit to Mozambique on February 8 and 9 Hu may also announce new plans for aid to the country and sign several economic and commercial cooperation agreements, as well as opening a Special Agricultural Technology Demonstration Center, one of ten that Beijing is building in Africa.

Since taking power in 2003, Hu has visited Africa on three occasions, and this is the second tour within less than a year.

The current tour began Tuesday and will end on February 10 and will take in South Africa, Namibia, Zambia, Cameroon, Liberia, the Sudan, the Seychelles and Mozambique.

China’s interest in Africa became clear at the beginning of November 2006 at the first head of state and government summit of the Forum of China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), which brought together in Beijing 48 heads of state and government of African nations.

At the time, Hu Jintao promised that China would double its trade with Africa by 2010 and over the next three years would provide loans and open up credit lines for exports totaling US$5 billion. (macauhub) (macauhub)