FOCAC is the Forum of China –Africa Cooperation that is held every three years alternatively in China or an Africa nation. FOCAC focuses on reinforcing the China-Africa international relations, security and investments.
Last week on 3rd and 4th September 2018 China hosted the 2018 FOCAC summit in Beijing. This meeting was attended by 53 leaders from the African continent and co-chaired by President of China Xi Jinping and President of South Africa Cyril Ramaphosa.
ECOVIS Beijing wants to use this opportunity to recognize the growing importance of China-Africa relations. The emergence of China as an important player in Africa has in recent times also gained more attention throughout Europe. Summarizing the main results of the FOCAC summit for ECOVIS Beijing is Sabrina Ndamukunda, a Beijing Institute of Technology student from Rwanda and ECOVIS intern.
The purpose and agreements
The FOCAC summit focused on the release of two major documents, outlining the shared goals and planned projects. One was the “Beijing Declaration – Toward an Even Stronger China –Africa Community with a Shared Future”, while the other one was the “FOCAC Beijing Action Plan 2019-2021” for the next three years, which covers in more detail all the sectors in which cooperation projects are planned: political and economic cooperation, peace and security policy, social development, culture, and people-to-people exchange, and international cooperation.
At the summit, the leaders of China-Africa nations agreed on pursuing a win-win cooperation aiming for prosperity and security and promoting man and natural harmony. Another goal of the meeting was to develop the China-Africa trade system by accelerating the Belt and Road program and aligning it with the Agenda 2063 of the African Union (AU), which will speed up African regional integration. This promotes the progress of African countries as well as encourages other international partners to invest and cooperate in the continent. The China-Africa cooperation should respect all African countries authority, take seriously African opinions and outlook as part of the international cooperation.
This graphic shows that after the establishment of FOCAC the trade between China and African nations was boosted. The aim was to reach 100 billion US$ in trade volume in 2010, which was achieved two years ahead of time. A similar growth trend is visible as well in other sectors such as infrastructure construction and investments.
In the end, both China and African nations benefit from FOCAC. Africa offers China the opportunity to emerge in a lower cost production location, Africa’s less developed infrastructure gives China the opportunity for commercial partnership, especially under the Belt and Road program. Africa also has a large potential market for China because of young African consumers. In return China offers to Africa support and partnership in industrialization and infrastructure development – this gives Africa the opportunity to build up export capacity and potential market for African goods and services, contributing to the overall growth of employment and income for the population of the African continent.
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