REMARKS BY MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND
INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION, HON. BERNARD K. MEMBE (MP)
ON THE 5TH MINISTERIAL CONFERENCE ON THE FORUM FOR CHINA AFRICA COOPERATION (FOCAC), 19TH JULY, 2012 BEIJING, CHINA
Co-Chairs of the Fifth Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa
Co-operation, Honourable Yang Jiechi, Foreign Minister of Peoples Republic
of China and Representative of Foreign Minister of Arab Republic of Egypt
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Let me join others who spoke before me to thank the Government and people of the Great Republic of China for the warm hospitality which has been extended to me and my delegation since our arrival in this Beautiful city of Beijing.
I also join those who have spoken before me in hailing the renewed strategic partnership between China and Africa. It is indeed, a new milestone in a long history of friendship and cooperation between China and Africa. I have no doubt in my mind that the outcome of our meeting today paves way for us to build on past achievement and open up new prospects for the new type of China-Africa relations in different areas ranging from political, international, economic, development and cultural affairs.
Further, we are gratified to note that China has fulfilled the commitments contained in the measures to strengthen China-Africa Cooperation announced by Premier Wenjiabao in November 2009 in Sharm El Sheikh. Such is a gesture of true friendship, partnership and a good intention that China has towards Africa. The implementation of those measures have brought vibrancy to the economic relations between China and Africa. Tanzania joins others African countries in reassuring China of our unwavering support, confidence and commitment towards China.
Our trade volumes have doubled from US$106.8 billion in 2008 to US$166.3 billion last year. A number of African countries have achieved significant increases in their trade exchanges with China, mainly because of China's commitment to open its market to African countries and their decision to phase in, under the South-South cooperation framework where African products have enjoyed zero tarrif treatment. Similar remakable success stories can be told in other areas of Investment, infrastructure development, ICT and many more.
The increase of trade and investment from China has also facilitated our people to people relations and social interactions. The Chinese community has expanded significantly in Africa and have well been integrated with the locals. We believe that it is important to transform further our relations from goverment to goverment to facilitate more exchanges of our people and private sectors, to cement further our relations and for its sustainability.
It is our wish to see greater diversification to include value added products. To achieve this, we would welcome additional investment by Chinese companies to raise Africa's productive capacity through addressing supplyside constraints, building of capacity in beneficiation, value-addition, manufacturing capacity, transfer of technology and investment in key enablers such as energy, transport infrastructure as well as information and information technology.
Co-Chairs, Ladies and Gentlemen,
At this juncture let me use this opportunity to express the gratitude of people of Tanzania to the People's Republic of China for their invaluable support in the form of grants and soft loans which has enabled us to undertake socioeconomic development projects for the wellbeing of our people. Indeed, China's support has always been from the heart to the heart!
Ladies and Gentlemen,
If there is anyone out there who still doubts the China-Africa partnership or if there is anyone who is envious of this partnership, or who is trying to break this cooperation, here is your advice: Dont waste you time. If anything, this partnership will be promoted and sustained.
We don’t need anybody to lecture us on who should be our best partner. We know who the best partner is.
Some countries advise their business communities on where to go and where not to go in Africa. They warn them not to go to countries infected with Malaria, drought, floods and civil war. CHINA DOES NOT. To the contrary, the Chinese can reach any country regardless of any problems.
Some countries put strict and difficult conditionality if we want to access development capital. CHINA DOES NOT. On the contrary, they provide, concessional loans and low interest rates. Indeed, they are, our best friends.
And Last but not least,I thank the senior officials for a job well-done to prepare the Beijing Declaration and the Beijing Action Plan (2012 – 2015) indeed they have simplified our work here today.