CHANGSHA, China, July 1, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Hosted in Changsha city, located central China's Hunan Province from June 27 to 29, the first China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo (CAETE) attracted more than 1,600 guests from 53 African countries and over 3,500 Chinese and foreign exhibitors, buyers and professional audience, with the number of attendees passing the 100,000 mark.
As China's only national-level mechanism to promote economy and trade with Africa under the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), the CAETE serves as Hunan's first national platform open to the outside world and will be permanently hosted by the province. This year's Expo was themed with "Win-Win Cooperation for Closer China-Africa Economic Partnership".
At the Expo, 84 cooperation documents were signed by the local governments, state-owned and private companies, financial institutions, business associations and non-governmental organizations between China and Africa. The 20.8-billion-dollars worth of deals covered a wide range of areas, including trade, investment, infrastructure, agriculture, manufacturing, aviation, tourism and sister-city relations.
Hunan enjoys a unique geological edge in carrying out the major strategy for the rise of central China as it sits at the transportation heart of central China, borders Guangdong and overlooks Hong Kong and Macao. As an active promoter of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), it has been more important in enhancing China's opening up and business in recent years.
Hunan and Africa have seen rapid growth in trade and investment, with the bilateral trade growing by over 50% for four years running and having reached USD 2.8 billion in 2018. More than 120 Hunan-based companies, including CRRC Zhuzhou Locomotive, Yuan Long Ping High-Tech, SANY and Broad Homes, are promoting their business in such sectors as construction, trade, machinery manufacturing and mineral resources development in Africa.
Going forward, said a leader of the Hunan government, the province, guided by the spirit of China-Africa cooperation in the BRI, would give priority to the eight major initiatives set out at the FOCAC Beijing Summit in 2018. Emphasis will be on supporting Africa in fostering its endogenous growth momentum so as to ensure the high-quality development of China-Africa business cooperation in the new era.