FOCAC summit a new starting point for China-Africa partnership: Tunisian ambassador
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FOCAC summit a new starting point for China-Africa partnership: Tunisian ambassador

Anthony Udoh

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tunisia ambassador - FOCAC summit a new starting point for China-Africa partnership: Tunisian ambassador

The upcoming 2018 Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa
Cooperation (FOCAC) will create opportunities for China and African countries to deepen cooperation,
promote development, and increase mutual understanding.

NAN reports that FOCAC will take place in September are in high gear, officials have said.

Dhia Khaled, Tunisian Ambassador to China, said in an interview with Xinhua in Beijing,
called the summit a “historic meeting,”

Khaled also that the summit will usher in a new future of China-Africa cooperation in economy and
trade, culture, education, and science and technology.

“I call on African countries to make full use of the summit to strive for the well-being of the people
of both China and Africa,” Khaled said.

Khaled expressed his hope that the summit will help expand Chinese investment in Africa and spoke highly
of the development of relations between China and African countries under the principle of mutual
respect, equal cooperation, and mutual benefit.

China and Tunisia signed a memorandum of understanding on the Belt and Road Initiative in July.

Khaled said Tunisia has placed great attention on the initiative and is ready to actively participate
in the building of the Belt and Road.

Khaled hailed China’s reform and opening-up policy, saying the policy has contributed to the country’s
development and its cooperation with other countries, especially with Arab and African countries.



He also noted that China is the fourth largest trade partner of Tunisia, which has also become an
increasingly popular destination for Chinese tourists.

In 2017, Tunisia began to offer visa-free entry to Chinese tourists and the number of Chinese tourists
rocketed to around 20,000 that year, 12,000 more than in 2016, Khaled said, noting that Tunisia
expects to receive 30,000 to 35,000 Chinese tourists this year.

“We are capable of and are willing to have more Chinese tourists visit our country,” Khaled said.

“Tunisia values cooperation with China in tourism and looks forward to a higher level of
cooperation.”

NAN reports that the summit is part of the FOCAC cooperation which involves 52 African countries, the AU Commission
and the Peoples Republic of China as partners.

The cooperation is in areas such as trade, technology, media, diplomacy, agriculture, culture and
people-to-people exchanges.

The last FOCAC Summit was held in Johannesburg, South Africa in 2015 and was co-chaired by President Xi
Jinping and Jacob Zuma, former president of South Africa.

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Updated on September 12, 2018 at 10:15 am