Cooperation in various fields between the Republic of Congo and China is reciprocal and mutually beneficial, yielding fruitful results for the people of both countries, Congolese President Denis Sassou Nguesso has said.
In a recent interview with Xinhua, Sassou Nguesso said Africa and China have partnered closely and there exists great potential and broad prospects for future cooperation.
Sassou Nguesso recalled the friendship between China and the Republic of Congo spanning over half a century and his 14 visits to China since the two sides forged diplomatic ties in 1964.
Relationship between the two nations has been going from strength to strength over the years. In 2016, the two sides decided to upgrade the bilateral ties to a comprehensive strategic partnership.
“Both sides are willing to cement cooperation with mutual benefits and implementing our comprehensive strategic partnership,” Sassou Nguesso said.
Economic cooperation between the two countries has also gained momentum in recent years. China has been the Republic of Congo’s largest trading partner since 2006 with bilateral trade amounting to 4.67 billion U.S. dollars in 2017.
As a pilot country for China-Africa capacity cooperation, the Republic of Congo has seen a number of achievements in cooperation with China, from hospital to bank.
In April 2018, President Sassou Nguesso attended the inauguration ceremony for the new office building of the Sino-Congolese Bank for Africa (BSCA), a co-funded bank established by China and the Republic of Congo.
Since its operation in 2015, the bank has been creating jobs and providing services for the general public of Cogolese people, making it a “good decision” of cooperation between the two countries, said Sassou Nguesso, adding that the bank was not only created for Congo, also for Africa.
During the interview, Sassou Nguesso also commended a Chinese-built national road connecting the country’s capital Brazzaville and coastal business hub Pointe-Noir as “it is of immense economic, social and cultural importance and has promoted movement of people, goods.”
Sassou Nguesso said his government is working to improve the business climate to create healthy competition and preparation for establishing a special economic zone in Pointe-Noire is also underway, calling on Chinese companies to invest in the country.
Meanwhile, the two countries have also cooperated closely in cultural and people-to-people exchanges.
Each year, over 100 Congolese students enrol in Chinese universities. China supports the Congolese government’s efforts in the area of professional training, environmental conservation, health and agricultural development.
Friendly relations between the two peoples and win-win cooperation between the two nations will not only contribute to China-Congo cooperation, but also China-Africa cooperation, said Sassou Nguesso.