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China to help Republic of Congo concretize SEZ program

Updated: Jan 13,2016 9:00 AM     Xinhua

BRAZZAVILLE — The Secretary-general of the Chinese Follow-up Committee of Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) Lin Songtian said on Jan 11 that China will support the Republic of Congo to concretize its special economic zone (SEZ) program.

Lin made the remarks in the Republic of Congo capital Brazzaville, where he is visiting as part of his African tour.

After meeting with Congolese officials who included ministers for foreign affairs, agriculture and special economic zones, the Chinese official said two major issues had brought him to the country.

The first is to solidify agreements signed during the visit to Congo by President Xi Jinping in March 2013 and that of Congolese President Denis Sassou N’Guesso to China in June 2014, and the other is to concretize achievements of the recent FOCAC meeting held in Johannesburg, South Africa.

“We shall help the Republic of Congo to concretize its program of special economic zones to better coordinate industrial partnerships and develop our cooperation with a view of accelerating the country’s industrialization process,” Lin said.

The Congolese government planned to set up four special economic zones in 2013 in Brazzaville, Pointe Noire, Ouesso and Oyo-Ollombo using Chinese experiences.

These special economic zones aim to end the country’s dependence on oil, create jobs, process raw materials and alleviate poverty.

“We have also decided to reinforce our agricultural cooperation to guarantee food security,” Lin added.

Cooperation between China and the Republic of Congo dates back to 1964. The partnership has seen numerous cooperation agreements signed in diverse sectors such as infrastructure, environmental protection, health, education, sports and culture.