XIAMEN(Xinhua/Zhang Guojun)
INTERNATIONAL - Sino-African relations have entered a new development stage of win-win co-operation, according to the fifth Biennial Conference of China-Africa Industrial Forum (Caif) that opened in Beijing yesterday. 

Supporting Africa’s industrialisation and capacity co-operation are of vital importance in the next five years and Sino-African trade is likely to total $180billion (R11.94trillion) in 2017, said Caif secretary-general Cheng Zhigang in the opening speech. 

Sino-African economic and trade co-operation has great potential, said Cheng. China has been Africa's largest trading partner since 2009. Chinese investments in Africa exceeded $100bn in 2016, about 50 times as much as in 2010. 

China’s investments in Africa have also diversified in business areas, from construction and mining to emerging industries such as manufacturing, finance, information technology and the internet. 

Sino-Afri­can economic and trade co-operation is in keeping with the "Belt and Road Initiative" and Africa’s “Agenda 2063.” It is for the mutual benefit of China and Africa. 

Under the guidance of the China-Africa Development Fund, China-Africa Capacity Co-opera­tion Fund, the Silk Road Fund and other sovereign funds, large amounts of Chinese private capital have landed in Africa. 

The financing model has changed from primarily national sovereign guarantee to more commercial-orientated, with the joint building of industrial parks and capacity co-operation between the two sides. Currently, Chinese businesses have begun the construction or preparations for nearly 100 industrial parks in Africa, of which around 40 have become operational. 

- Xinhua