Premier Li vows industrial transfers
Updated: 2014-05-07 04:00
ZHAO YINAN and LI LIANXING in Addis Ababa(China Daily)
Premier Li Keqiang removes gauze from an Ethiopian cataracts patient who regained his eyesight after surgery performed by Chinese doctors at a hospital in Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital. A team of Chinese ophthalmologists has been providing its services for free at the hospital, which Li visited on Tuesday. Li Tao / Xinhua
China won't hold back in sharing with Africa the benefits of its technologies, premier says
Premier Li Keqiang said on Tuesday that when he was governor of Henan province more than 10 years ago he wanted to secure a wheat seed deal with a company in a developed country.
To his chagrin, the company would only provide processed seeds whose crops could not be used as seeds.
Sharing his anecdote at an economic, trade and people-to-people exchange symposium in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, Li said Chinese businesses will never do the same in Africa.
Instead, the country is willing to unreservedly transfer industries and technologies that match Africa's needs, he told African and Chinese officials, businesspeople and scholars.
China, for instance, has unconditionally transferred its high-yielding hybrid rice technology to Africa to contribute to the continent's poverty relief program, he said.
"To live and let live, as we have enough to eat, we'd like to see our friends lead the same lives," he said.
With a combined population of 2.3 billion, China and Africa see each other as tremendous development potential, he said. Their intensified cooperation will benefit both peoples in a profound way, Li said.
As young people comprise a major part of African society, employment is key to improving livelihoods, he said. China is ready to bring more industries, particularly labor-intensive ones, to the continent to create more jobs.
For Africa to develop its labor-intensive industries, training is needed and China will do its utmost to help groom African talent, he said.
In addition, it will step up cooperation with Africa on research and development and prove to the world that people in developing countries have the brains to generate world-leading advanced technology, the premier said.
Li said Africa has "awesome" culture, and mutual learning will make the cultures of countries "more brilliant". The Chinese government will strengthen its support for mutual learning between China and Africa.
At the symposium, Tassew Wolde-Hanna, vice-president of Addis Ababa University, proposed that China and Ethiopia increase student exchange programs.
"I'm impressed by the Chinese premier's promise to encourage cultural and academic exchanges between Chinese and Ethiopian colleges," he said after the meeting. "I didn't expect him to respond to it (my proposal) in such a timely manner."
Cultural exchanges are important, as they can greatly promote the research capabilities of Ethiopian universities, he said.
"Universities can produce both talent and high-end technologies to support economic growth. We are eager to learn how the universities in China are working on these tasks," he told China Daily.
Felchesmi Mramba, acting managing director of the Tanzania Electric Supply Company, said his firm had benefited greatly from Chinese assistance, with some of its projects funded by China and others ongoing.
He said he was thrilled by the premier's speech on Monday, in which Li promised more infrastructure projects for African countries.
One of the company's ongoing projects is being funded by the Chinese government and is expected to be completed this year, he said. Under the project, more transmission lines are being constructed, which will add 400 mW to the national grid network.
Li arrived in Ethiopia on Sunday for an official visit to the East African nation and the headquarters of the African Union in Addis Ababa.
He is also visiting Nigeria, Angola and Kenya on his four-nation African tour.