Wednesday, May 16, 2007

ADB opens annual meetings in Shanghai

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao speaks during the opening ceremony of the 2007 Annual Meetings of the Boards of Governors of the African Development Bank (ADB) Group in Shanghai

The African Development Bank has opened its annual board meetings in Shanghai. This is widely seen as a move to deepen Sino-African cooperation.

Around 2,000 people attended the opening ceremony, including presidents from Rwanda, Cape Verde and Madagascar. In his address to the opening ceremony, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said the current annual meetings would boost the AFDB's growth, strengthen its role and increase its influence.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said recent years have seen great progress in Sino-African cooperation. During the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation last November, China and Africa agreed to establish and develop a new type of strategic partnership. One that featured political equality, mutual trust, win-win economic cooperation and cultural exchanges. They also mapped out a plan for bilateral cooperation for the following three years.

Wen Jiabao said, "We will fully deliver on our commitments and are working with African countries to implement these measures to strengthen Sino-African cooperation. We need to explore new ways to cooperate and enhance current cooperation for our mutual benefit."

It's the first time the annual board meeting of the African Development Bank has been held in Asia. Both China's central bank and the ADB expect that fresh opportunities for Sino-African cooperation will come out of the meeting.

Zhou Xiaochuan, governor People's Bank of China, said, "In the context of global economics, the undertaking of poverty relief and the development of Africa is not only a concern for Africa, but for the world."

Dr. Donald Kaberuka, President African Development Bank Group, said, "Our economic basis is weak and we make a long way to progress to follow Asia's experiences. The key question must be how do we consolidate progress to learn from Asia fast economic progress sustainable."

Founded in 1964, the ADB has 77 members from Africa, America, Europe and Asia. China became a member in 1985.

The ADB Annual meeting is regarded as a catalysis for Sino-African relations since they fostered a new strategic partnership last year. With a ever expanding economic context, the two sides are taking pragmatic measures for win-win results the shared goal is to both opportunities and challenges brought by economic globalization.

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