Central African Republic President Francois Bozise urged China Thursday to invest more in his nation and develop stronger ties in the energy and mining fields, state media reported.
“We are willing to make efforts with China to realise our potential and strengthen cooperation in mining, forestry, agriculture and energy,” China Central Television quoted Bozise as telling his counterpart Hu Jintao.
“Central Africa welcomes Chinese enterprises to come and invest and is supportive of bringing the bilateral relationship to new heights.”
Bozise met with Hu in the cavernous Great Hall of the People and oversaw the signing of several documents including an economic technical cooperative agreement, the report said.
Bozise is on a seven-day trip to China that will also take him to the nation’s southwestern province of Yunnan and its booming southern manufacturing base in Guangdong province.
China has been an active investor in the Central African Republic, especially in construction, and is involved in a number of joint cooperative ventures with the government, covering health, agriculture, stock-breeding, communications and trade.
“We should solidify the political basis of our relations,” Hu was quoted as telling Bozise.
“We should also strengthen and push forward our economic and trade cooperation. Both sides should actively explore infrastructure construction and mining and gas exploration and development.”
China has become a main trading partner with Africa and has been eager to tap into the continent’s mineral and energy resources to help feed its fast-paced economic growth.
Official Chinese figures show trade between China and Africa jumped 45 percent in 2008, with Chinese exports to the continent up 36.3 percent and its imports, mainly oil, soaring 54 percent.