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Sierra Leone News: China’s Economic Growth Benefits Sierra Leone – Economic Counselor Shen Xiaokai

“In December 2015, Chinese President Xi Jinping and African leaders rounded off a landmark FOCAC summit in Johannesburg, South Africa, and reached a consensus to upgrade China-Africa relations backed by a roadmap for further boosting mutually beneficial cooperation and common development.
President Xi Jinping also announced a total of 60 billion USD financial support to ensure the implementation of a 10-pointed Cooperation Program with Africa in the next 3 years.”
In an exclusive interview with the Chinese Economic Counselor in Sierra Leone Mr. Shen Xiaokai, he reiterated that July 2016 marks the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Sierra Leone.
In the past decades, China has been devoted to elevating Sierra Leone’s infrastructure, human resource development, public health, agriculture and so on, through various aid projects. And China has been committed to strengthening a win-win partnership with Sierra Leone through investment and trade. Both countries have made huge achievements.
Since 1971, China has offered a variety of aid projects to Sierra Leone including grants, interest-free loans and concessional loans. The National Stadium, Youyi Building, Mange Bridge, Guma Hydro Power Station, New Building of Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Primary Schools, Bo Stadium, and Friendship Road and so on, which have all become landmarks witnessing the two countries’ friendship.
He said China has been dispatching medical teams, agriculture experts to Sierra Leone, and donated anti-malaria drugs to Sierra Leone for over thirty years. Moreover, China always pays great attention to human resource training for Sierra Leone, sponsoring more than 200 Sierra Leoneans trained in China each year. In 2007, China also waived 5 interest-free loans due for Sierra Leone which amounts to over 182 million Yuan.
The Economic Counselor in a happy mood averred that in the coming three years, China has pledged 60 billion US dollars support to African countries, of which 5 billion is a donation and free-of-interest loan, and 35 billion concessional loan and export credit to Africa in the 2015 FOCAC Johannesburg Summit.
“With this commitment, China is to give continuous support to Sierra Leone, focusing on the priority projects for the Agenda for Prosperity, such as the Mamamah International Airport, Rokel Water Supply, West Africa Tropical Disease Research Center, Hill Station Road projects and so on.”
“When Sierra Leone was declared Ebola free on November 7, 2015, trade begins to show signs of recovery between the two nations, as more and more Sierra Leonean business people are seeking opportunities in China. The China Import and Export Fair (Canton Fair) and China International Fair for Investment and Trade (CIFIT), in particular, offer great opportunities for the elevation and development of trading between China and Sierra Leone. We are looking forward to seeing a big leap forward in the volume of trade between our two nations in the future.
“The trade between China and Sierra Leone has witnessed a continuous growth since 2002. China is one of the major trading partners of Sierra Leone. In spite of the Ebola outbreak, trade volume between China and Sierra Leone reached US$1.71 billion in 2014, marking a 17.8 percent growth compared with the year before. Due to the deep impact inflicted by Ebola outbreak on the socio-economic situation of Sierra Leone, as well as the plummet of iron ore price in the global market, trade between China and Sierra Leone dropped dramatically to US$413 million in 2015.
The Economic Counselor gave brief background on China’s economy, and explained why his country’s growth will benefit Sierra Leone in the coming years.
He disclosed that despite the slowdown of the world’s economy, China’s economic growth is still energetic in 2015. The latest statistics of consumption, international trade and investment, which are the 3 major parts of the domestic economy, shows a great performance of China’s economy in 2015.
Last year, total retail sales of consumer goods stood at 30.1 trillion Yuan (US$4.62 trillion), a 10.7 percent increase year on year. Consumption contributed 66.4 percent to economic growth, increasing 15.4 percent from the previous year. In other words, China has successfully made the major transformation from an economy whose growth was mainly driven by investment and foreign trade to the economy powered by internal demand, especially consumption.
Monday March 14, 2016

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