KINSHASA — The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) announced today that President Joseph Kabila is at the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC). Held in Johannesburg, the summit brings together heads of state and government from Africa and China to discuss economic development and areas of mutual opportunity.

At the FOCAC, President Kabila will meet with a number of Chinese leaders to discuss ways to strengthen and enhance relations between the two countries, including the development of the Grand Inga hydroelectric project and other industrial ventures.

“As one of the most dynamic countries in Africa today, the DRC is eager to find mutually beneficial opportunities to strengthen and professionalize a variety of sectors, working with the Chinese and other foreign partners,” Moise Ekanga, executive secretary of the Office for the Coordination and Monitoring of the Sino-Congolese Program (BCPSC). “The Sino-Congolese relationship has so far produced ventures that have created thousands of jobs for the Congolese people, generated tax revenues for the DRC and provided a critical knowledge transfer between the two countries. We look forward to continuing to build on this relationship to boost employment and the economy.”

In September of this year, President Kabila traveled to China, where he attended the commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II. During his visit, the President visited the site of the Three Gorges Dam and reviewed the status of current Sino-Congolese projects, including the recently-opened Sicomines project, which is expected to increase the DRC’s exports to China and spur economic development in the Congo.

Over the last 25 years, Chinese investment in the DRC, as well as Congolese exports to China, have grown at a rapid pace. Notably, in 2008 the Chinese government entered into a contract with the DRC government for $6 billion USD worth of infrastructure projects—from the development of roads and railways to the construction of hospitals, health centers and universities in exchange for China’s participation in DRC’s mining investments. A recent RAND Corporation report concluded that bilateral trade between the DRC and China accounts for approximately two percent of total Sino-African trade.

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