Source: CNA – China’s Xi signs multi-million-dollar deals in Congo
China’s new President Xi Jinping on Friday signed deals worth several million dollars with his Congolese counterpart in sectors as varied as banking and infrastructure, on the final leg of his three-nation Africa tour.
His visit to Tanzania, South Africa and now the Republic of the Congo underscores Beijing’s growing presence in the resource-rich continent.
Xi said that he hoped to “deepen mutual understanding and friendship (with the Republic of the Congo) and lift bilateral ties to a new and higher level”, China’s state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
The two leaders signed 11 deals worth several million dollars after Xi arrived for his two-day visit, the first by a Chinese president to the impoverished country of four million with significant oil resources.
The accords cover projects in a number of areas including communications, infrastructure and banking, according to an official document seen by AFP.
They build on two further accords worth several billion dollars already underway, one of which will finance the building of more than 500 kilometres of highway between Brazzaville and the economic capital on the Atlantic Coast, Pointe-Noire.
China is already Congo’s largest trading partner, with bilateral trade ballooning to five billion dollars in 2012 from $290 million in 2002, according to Xinhua.
Xi’s African tour, part of his first presidential trip that began in Russia, has also taken him to Tanzania and South Africa.
China’s business boom and its rise to become the world’s second-largest economy has seen financial and trade ties rocket in recent years as it sources many of its raw materials from Africa.