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Ambassador Guo Shaochun attended the seminar on "Belt and Road" initiative and delivered a keynote speech

  Recently, the "One Belt, One Road" seminar was held in Harare. Ambassador Guo Shaochun, attended the seminar and delivered a keynote speech. Political Counselor Zhao Baogang also attended the seminar and chaired sub-topic discussions. More than 50 people from the National Chamber of Commerce of Zimbabwe, the Zimbabwe Industry Federation participated in the seminar.

  Ambassador Guo stressed that China-Africa relations have made smooth progress and enjoy broad prospects under the "Belt and Road" framework. The completion of a series of major projects has brought tangible benefits to African countries and people.

  He said, China-Zimbabwe relations have gained substantial momentum under BRI in recent years. Last year, the two sides signed MOU on BRI cooperation during President Mnangagwa's visit to China. Mega projects were completed or has taken off. Chinese companies have been increasing investment to Zimbabwe steadily in agriculture, manufacturing, mining, etc. Each year the Chinese Government and companies provide hundreds of scholarships and training opportunities for local students and professionals.

   Ambassador Guo also addressed some of the concerns that have been raised over the years. He emphasized, first, The BRI is not a geopolitical tool as claimed by some western countries. The second is the debt issue. Some countries accused China of setting a debt trap for African countries, which is utterly groundless. While addressing the labor-rights issue, he pointed out that working culture should not be misconstrued as infringement on labor rights. Fourth, there is also the "neo-colonialism" theory against China, accusing China of looting Africa's resources. Ambassador Guo stressed, China and Africa trade according to market rules and on a willing buyer willing seller basis. Moreover, China is now doing more value-addition to Africa resources.

   Other delegates spoke positively to evaluate the "Belt and Road Initiative" and urged the Government and the community to learn more about and participate in the "One Belt, One Road" initiative, strengthen communication with the Chinese Government and enterprises, enhance mutual understanding and bring more positive effects to the economic and social development of Zimbabwe.

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