Qin Jize and Zhang Zhihao
Displayed with permission from China Daily
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President Xi Jinping said on Wednesday that China is ready to develop resource cooperation with Guinea to push forward the construction of infrastructure projects in the West African country.

« We support Guinea to transfer its resource advantages to development achievements, » Xi said while meeting with his Guinean counterpart Alpha Conde in Beijing.

The two top leaders witnessed the signing of 10 deals in fields including aviation, health, financing and visa facilitation.

Describing Guinea as an « old, true and good » friend of China, Xi noted that Sino-Guinean relations go back a long way, as Guinea was the first sub-Saharan African country to establish diplomatic ties with China.

Conde thanked China for its continuous support to his country, particularly the valuable assistance China offered in combating the Ebola outbreak. He also said he would like to expand cooperation in energy, agriculture and port construction.

China Harbour Engineering Co signed a $770 million contract with Guinea last week to upgrade the port in the capital, Conakry, Reuters reported.

Under the contract, the Chinese company will build three docks, roads and other infrastructure in the eastern zone of the port, providing parking for up to 600 trucks.

While visiting the company over the weekend, Conde said that Guinea « is in great need of cooperation with China in infrastructure projects such as port, railway and city planning ».

Liu Hongwu, professor of the Institute of African Studies at Zhejiang Normal University in Jinhua, said Guinea has rich natural resources including bauxite, rivers and arable land, but most are untapped due to lack of industrial infrastructure.

China has the capital, technology and experience to build infrastructure and help Guinea industrialize more quickly, Liu said.

Guinea also has geographic advantages in establishing interconnectivity between China and West Africa, he added, noting that Conakry port is one of the four largest ports in West Africa and Guinea’s sole container terminal.

« If supported by networks of roads and rails, the port’s economic benefits can spread through the rest of West Africa into Guinea’s landlocked neighbors like Mali, » Liu said.

Contact the writer at qinjize@chinadaily.com.cn

(China Daily 11/03/2016 page3)

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