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Changsha pioneers in cooperation

By | nxiang.net| Updated:  Sep 27,2021 L M S
Changsha, capital of Hunan province, has been at the forefront of Sino-African economic and trade activities, having achieved rapid growth in trade with Africa in recent years.
During the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-20), Changsha's total import from and export to Africa reached about $3.79 billion, seeing an average annual increase of 30.7 percent. Meanwhile, Changsha has invested in 24 projects in Africa with a total contract value of about $440 million.
The second China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo opened on Sunday in Changsha, which will be the permanent host city of the event.
Liu Yongbing, vice-mayor of Changsha, said the expo is inspired by the 2018 Beijing Summit of Forum on China-Africa Cooperation.
"It's the first national-level international economic and trade platform in Changsha," Liu added.
Changsha has played a significant role in Sino-African relations.
In August 1982, Changsha joined hands with Brazzaville, capital of the Republic of Congo, to establish friendship as sister cities. Starting from Brazzaville, Changsha has extended its "circle of friends" all over the African continent.
The city established economic and trade cooperation ties with South Africa's Kimberley in September 2002, then became a sister city of Entebbe of Uganda in April 2003.
'Made by Changsha'
The China Construction Fifth Engineering Division from Changsha participated in the construction of National Road No 1 in the Republic of Congo.
The long-anticipated road connected not only Brazzaville and Congo's second-largest city Pointe Noire, but also Banana and Matadi ports, facilitating the flow of people and goods, and bringing enormous economic and social benefits.
The frequent economic and trade exchanges between Changsha and African countries have strengthened their friendship.
Engineering machinery, a leading industry in Changsha, has grown into a world-class industrial cluster with great compatibility and complementarity with the African market. The two parties enjoy broad prospects for cooperation.
Sany Group, an industry-leading company in engineering machinery headquartered in Changsha, has been expanding its businesses in the African market in recent years, and its exports to Africa reached about 1.11 billion yuan ($170.1 million) in 2020.
"Sany has a profound relationship with Africa. The first Sany product exported overseas was sent to Africa. In 2002, Sany exported its grader to Morocco, making it a member of the first group of engineering machinery enterprises to enter the African market," said Xiang Wenbo, president of Sany. "Africa is a dynamic continent. Sany is very optimistic about its future development, considering Africa as an important market for its globalization strategy."
As of the first half of 2021, Sany's total sales in Africa exceed 12 billion yuan and retains 15,000 units of equipment there, outnumbering all other Chinese engineering machinery exporters.
Free Trade Zone
China (Hunan) Pilot Free Trade Zone was established in September last year.
Putting high on its agenda to build a pilot zone for in-depth economic and trade cooperation between China and Africa, the FTZ set up such a pilot zone at the Gaoqiao Grand Market.
Coffee is an important item in China-Africa economic and trade cooperation. "Before the launch of the FTZ, we could only purchase African coffee beans through other domestic traders, without any quality guarantee or preferential pricing," said Jing Jianhua, a retailer in the Gaoqiao market.
Since the launch of the FTZ, the Gaoqiao market has welcomed 1,286 new market entities, including 642 newly established enterprises. It is expected that the import and export volume of foreign trade in the pilot zone will reach $1.7 billion this year, an increase of 80 percent year-on-year.

Ethiopia's exhibition area at the expo. CHINA DAILY

Booth of the Pilot Zone for China-Africa Economic and Trade Cooperation in the main venue of the expo. CHINA DAILY