AfDB and Export-Import Bank of China Strengthen Cooperation

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The African Development Bank Group on Thursday, December 16, 2010 in Tunis received a delegation from the Export-Import Bank of China (Eximbank). The delegation, led by its Executive Vice President, Liu Liange, also comprised the General Manager, Legal Department, Li Jian, and Assistant President, Liu Yang.

The delegation’s meeting with Vice President Aloysius Ordu (ORVP) and his team mainly focused on cooperation and the need to strengthen relations with the AfDB. Mr Ordu expressed satisfaction with the solid cooperation existing between the Bank and China, underscoring particularly the country’s strong commitment to the Bank’s Sixth General Capital Increase and its contribution to the ADF-12 soft-loan window replenishment.

Stressing China’s fast-growing economic ties with Africa, he noted that “China has helped in increasing positive perception of Africa as an investment destination”. He however emphasized that “whilst economic synergies already existed between Chinese firms and AfDB, there is still the need to reinforce their co-financing of projects, so as to meet the huge infrastructure needs on the continent”.

China’s relationship with Africa came into the spotlight during the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in Beijing in November 2006 and at the AfDB Annual Meetings in Shanghai in May 2007. “At present Chinese firms have the largest share in the procurement for Bank-financed projects,” Vice-President Ordu revealed.

In his intervention, Mr. Liange emphasized that “China Eximbank was looking for a mutual, fair and open partnership and would like to partner with AfDB in co-financing projects, particularly in infrastructure and agriculture,” adding that his institution “would also like to benefit from the wealth of experience and knowledge that the AfDB had accumulated in areas such as financing multinational projects and in regional integration, environmental safeguard and social protection programmes”.

The AfDB’s Partnerships and Cooperation Unit Head, Kazumi Ikeda-Larhed for her part, pointed out that the initial mutual learning process had been completed. “It is now time to concretize and operationalize specific projects through co-financing” she emphasized.

In this regard, it was agreed that two-way staff exchanges would contribute to further deepen cooperation between the two Banks.

On 14 May 2008, the AfDB and China signed a Memorandum of Understanding to leverage their future efforts. In conclusion, the Exim Bank was provided with a pipeline of AfDB projects in transport, ICT and agriculture for consideration. Vice President Ordu will lead a delegation to China in the second quarter of 2011.

Trade and investments between Africa and China have expanded in recent years. In May 2007, Eximbank officials announced investment in African infrastructure and trade to the tune of USD 20 billion over a three-year period.

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