By Yang Xun, Yan Ke, Shen Zhilin, People’s Daily

The 3rd China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo kicked off in Changsha, capital of central China’s Hunan province on June 29.

The four-day event, themed “Common Development for a Shared Future,” is expected to draw wide participation and build new momentums for China-Africa economic and trade cooperation.

At the Changsha International Convention and Exhibition Center, the main venue of the event, a number of featured commodities from Africa such as wine, coffee and handicrafts, as well as China’s engineering machinery, medical equipment, consumer goods and agricultural equipment, were exhibited. The exhibition area expanded by 30,000 square meters from the last session to 100,000 square meters.

The sub-venue of the event is at Changsha’s China-Africa Economic and Trade Cooperation, Promotion, and Innovation Demonstration Park. It gathers more exhibitors, purchasers and exhibits, and aims at building a permanent venue for China-Africa Economic and Trade.

Wasion Holdings Limited has been engaged in the African market for more than 20 years, during which it delivered over 5 million electric meters to African consumers. Last year, its revenue in Africa jumped 28.4 percent year on year.

This time, the company brought to the 3rd China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo a series of products and solutions that help improve the basic livelihood of African consumers, as well as its latest energy-storage system, said Lv Xinwei, vice president of the company.

“We set up an exhibition area of 200 square meters, and we are presenting two ‘star products’ developed for mining in Africa,” said Zhu Jianxin, vice general manager of Sunward, one of the leading underground engineering equipment enterprises in China.

According to him, Sunward invited its clients from West Africa and South Africa to Changsha for communication and contract signing, hoping to further reinforce its cooperation with African partners.

An exhibition section for African enterprises and commodities is joined by 300 African enterprises and numerous products from Africa, including essential oil from Madagascar, gems from Zambia, wood carvings from Zimbabwe and flowers from Kenya.

A Kenyan exhibitor named Anna told People’s Daily that she brought to the event Kenya’s tea products and wood carvings, which drew a number of potential customers. She believes that she will receive many orders this time.

To expand the imports of quality commodities from Africa, Hunan province launched an “African product brand bank” activity, which introduced 106 types of African products to the province’s markets.

Relying on the Hunan Gaoqiao Grand Market, the province is expanding its imports of coffee, nuts, dried chili, sesames, peanuts, and wood products, and facilitating the exports of small-sized agricultural machines, small-sized hardware, prepackaged food and consumer goods. It has completed the first transaction of prepackaged food under mart procurement.

Besides, Hunan province has also set up a China-Africa incubation center for livestream commerce, which is also known as Mango Live Stream. The incubation center hosts livestream activities to promote African products, and has reported total revenue of over 100 million yuan ($13.79 million).

On June 29, the China-Africa Trade Index was officially unveiled by the General Administration of Customs at the 3rd China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo. Taking the year of 2000 as the base period with a value of 100, the index has hit 990.55 in 2022 and keeps rising.

During the same period, China’s trade with Africa surged more than 20 times from less than 100 billion yuan to 1.88 trillion yuan, with an average annual growth of 17.7 percent. China has maintained the largest trading partner of Africa for 14 consecutive years. In the first five months this year, China’s trade with Africa stood at 822.32 billion yuan, up 16.4 percent.

Jiang Wei, an official with the Ministry of Commerce, said China-Africa trade features high complementarity, adding that it offers strong support for the two sides’ economic and social development and benefits both Chinese and African people.

As an important mechanism of China-Africa economic and trade cooperation, and an important window for sub-regional economic and trade cooperation, the China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo is of vital significance for Hunan to promote high-level opening up and build a new development paradigm, Jiang remarked.

Apart from focusing on economy and trade, the expo also launched forums and seminars on traditional Chinese medicine cooperation and infrastructure. It for the first time held a trade negotiation over featured light industrial products and textile, an achievements exhibition of China-Africa cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative and an achievements exhibition of innovations made by Chinese and African women. Eight guest countries of honor have set up stand-alone exhibitions to demonstrate their own features.

President of Malawi Lazarus Chakwera, who attended the opening ceremony of the 3rd China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo, said that the expo has significantly strengthened Africa-China cooperation and brought more prosperity to relevant regions, and will bring Africa-China cooperation onto a new level.


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