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China to increase imports from SADC countries, says vice premier

Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan said Saturday China will increase imports from member states of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), so to facilitate stronger mutually-beneficial trade ties.

Wang made the remarks while addressing the opening ceremony of China-SADC Business Forum in Beijing, which was attended by SADC Chairman Hifikepunye Pohamba and over 200 Chinese and African entrepreneurs.

Wang said economic and trade cooperation between China and SADC nations had resulted in substantial benefits to both sides.

Trade volume between China and SADC countries stood at 61 billion U.S. dollars last year, nearly half of the China-Africa trade volume.

"China has become an important trading partner and a source of investment in the SADC region," Wang said, adding that further boosting China-SADC trade cooperation is of great importance for economic growth and the global economic recovery.

New opportunities for deepening win-win cooperation are emerging as China implements its 12th Five-Year Program, said the vice premier.

"We are ready to further expand imports from SADC countries, and encourage Chinese enterprises to invest there," he said. "We will offer SADC countries all the help we can to enhance their capability for independent development."

Wang said the two sides should expand cooperation in trade, investment, finance, energy and infrastructures.

Pohamba, who is also president of Namibia, said African countries including SADC member states cherish their solidarity and friendship with China.

"We look forward to further expanding existing business ties with China, increasing trade and investment, and enhancing our technological cooperation," said Pohamba, who has served as chairperson of SADC, which consists of 15 member nations, since August 2010.

He said SADC fully supports the forum which aims to strengthen dialogues between Africa and China. He urged entrepreneurs from both sides to take the opportunity to seek greater momentum for trade cooperation.

Pohamba will meet with President Hu Jintao and top legislator Wu Bangguo respectively during his visit to China from Friday to Sunday.


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