FOCAC: Helping Ethiopia onto China’s Express Train of Development


The fruits of China-Ethiopia cooperation have not only helped the Ethiopian people to move out of poverty, but also improved Ethiopia’s investment and business environment and facilitated investment from around the world.

(People’s Daily)–A large number of jobs have been created for African countries through China-Africa cooperation, which has promoted local economic growth, helped the maintenance of political and social stability in related countries, and reduced the emergence of refugees and immigrants and their disorderly flow.

Planning is only a small part of the work, and what counts more is its implementation. Since the holding of Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) Johannesburg Summit in December, 2015, China and Ethiopia have been working to match up their development strategies to implement the ten cooperation plans proposed by President Xi Jinping for China-China cooperation, which will help Ethiopia onto China’s train of development, and the fast train of economic globalization.

Given the existence of three bottleneck constraints in Ethiopia including poor infrastructure conditions, lack of competent professionals and shortage of financial resources, China-Ethiopia cooperation first and foremost focuses on cooperation in infrastructure, industrial parks and human resource development, which has yielded a series of early achievements. Addis Ababa-Djibouti railway, the first cross-country electrified railway line in Africa taking the Chinese technology, equipment and standard, has been open to traffic. Coupled with accelerated implementation of industrial parks along the line, it constitutes a path of prosperity and common development for Ethiopia and Djibouti. With the completion of Gibe III hydro station by Chinese companies, the power generation capacity in Ethiopia has been doubled. The Chinese companies have been actively involved in the construction of sugar plants in Ethiopia, helping to turn the country from an importer into an exporter of sugar. I accompanied Ethiopian President Mulatu to visit the first garbage power generation plant in Africa built by a Chinese company, which consumes 1200 tons of garbage for the city of Addis Ababa every day, thus effectively solving the problem of environmental pollution for the city and becoming a new name card for China to help African countries to pursue green development. The fruits of China-Ethiopia cooperation have not only helped the Ethiopian people to move out of poverty, but also improved Ethiopia’s investment and business environment and facilitated investment from around the world.

The fruitful results of China-Ethiopia cooperation have also benefited Ethiopia’s development partners, which can share in the public goods provided by China in the implementation of FOCAC outcomes. The full operation of Addis Ababa-Djibouti railway will reduce logistics cost significantly. The economic corridor along the railway line built with concerted efforts of China and Ethiopia has promoted sound interaction between infrastructure construction and industrial development, favoring investment by businesses across the world in Ethiopia. The Hawassa Industrial Park built by a Chinese company has set a new model of China-US-Ethiopia trilateral cooperation in building industrial parks. Gibe III hydro station has seen combination of advantages of Chinese mechanical and electrical equipment with Italian strength in civil engineering construction. The garbage power generation plant in Addis Ababa is also a result of the efforts of Chinese, British and Ethiopian businesses. The contribution China has made to economic and social development of Ethiopia and other African countries has not only benefited the African people, but also created a new dimension of win-win cooperation and common development of countries around the world.

An overview of the journey of reform and opening up in China over the past 30 years and more reveals two secrets behind China’s fast economic growth. The first one is self-reliance and hard work, and the second one is opening up to leverage one’s own strength to find its right position in the global industrial chain. This offers inspirations for the development of Ethiopia. At present, China is in the process of economic structural readjustment and industrial upgrading, while African countries are working hard to accelerate industrialization and modernization. This brings about rare historic opportunities for the two sides to work together for development. The combination of Chinese advantages in capital, technology and equipment with the edge of Ethiopia in labor force and market as a late-comer meets the practical need of industrial transfer worldwide and Ethiopia’s real requirements, and can inject inexhaustible driving force for independent and sustainable development in Ethiopia. China-Africa cooperation is shifting from one based on assistance to one combining investment and cooperation, which can facilitate the flow of production factors including goods, technologies, information, services, currencies and personnel across countries, and contribute to China’s own development. This will also become an engine for world economic growth.

China has proposed the Belt and Road initiative based on the principle of wide consultations, joint contributions and shared benefits, committed to building a new model of international relations based on win-win cooperation and a community of common destiny for mankind. This has won positive response from most countries including those in Africa. A large number of jobs have been created for African countries through China-Africa cooperation, which has promoted local economic growth, helped the maintenance of political and social stability in related countries, and reduced the emergence of refugees and immigrants and their disorderly flow. China has played an important role for narrowing the gap between the South and the North and for achieving more balanced development in the world.

The year 2017 is a critical year for implementing the FOCAC outcomes and reap benefits, when China will host the Belt and Road Summit for International Cooperation and BRICS Summit.These two meetings serve as a milestone and are closely related to global economic governance and development in Africa.We believe that so long as the two sides do their utmost together, China-Ethiopia and China-Africa cooperation will advance further and a new chapter of common development of countries around the world will be written.

Source: Forum on China-Africa Cooperation
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