The Chinese Embassy in Eritrea organized a one-day seminar on 28 September in Asmara on the “Belt and Road initiative and China-Eritrea Pragmatic Cooperation”.
At the seminar attended by senior government and PFDJ officials as well as representatives of Chinese Companies and Corporations operating in Eritrea took part, briefings about the initiative taken in 2013 by the President of the People’s Republic of China, Mr. Xi Jin Ping, were given through a video show and by the Chinese Ambassador to Eritrea, Mr. Yang Zigang, and his advisor.
Mr. Hagos Gebrehiwet, Head of Economic Affairs in the PFDJ, also gave briefings on the economic cooperation between Eritrea and the People’s Republic of China.
In his deliberation, Ambassador Yang said that, since President Xi Jin Ping announced the “Belt and Road Initiative”, many African countries including Eritrea have been expressing their interest and concern. The Ambassador went on to say that the “Belt and Road Initiative” runs through the continents of Asia, Europe and Africa, connecting the vibrant East Asia economic circle at one end and the developed European economic circle, and encompassing countries with huge potential for economic development.
The Ambassador also said that the strategic location of Eritrea in the Red Sea coast makes it important for the initiative. The Initiative upholds Five Principles including policy coordination, connectivity of infrastructure and facilities, trade and investment, financial integration as well as closer people-to-people ties.
Ambassador Yang also pointed out that the “Belt and Road Initiative” connects the three parts of the world by road and sea, and the main components of the initiative are to ensure energy and trade.
Mr. Hagos Gebrehiwet, on his part said that Eritrea’s core development policy hinges the promotion of domestic, foreign, public and private investment and trade. Mr. Hagos underlined that the policy stance emanates from cogent economic considerations of long-term sustainability anchored on the enhancement of mutual interests, political considerations of the preservation of the country’s independence of policy choices and alternatives, sober appraisal of the country’s long term comparative and competitive advantages, and vigorous commitment and determination to avoid structural and debilitating dependency.
Mr. Hagos noted that within the broad policy framework, Eritrea-China cooperation program has grown over the years both in scope and space at a satisfactory pace. He also expressed expectation for the scope of cooperation to expand, especially in the sectors of trade and investment, mining, infrastructure, housing, agriculture and fisheries.
The representatives of the Chinese Companies and Corporations operating in Eritrea also shared their experiences in Eritrea and future prospects in terms of the “Belt and Road Initiative”.
An Eritrean delegation, headed by Mr. Hagos Gebrehiwet, Head of Economic Affairs in the PFDJ, participated at the “Belt and Road Initiative” conference held in China on 14 and 15 May this year.