Chinese Premier Li Keqiang holds talks with Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, May 4, 2014. Li started an Africa tour on Sunday with his arrival in Ethiopia, where he will also visit the headquarters of the African Union (AU). (Xinhua/Wang Ye)Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and his Ethiopian counterpart, Hailemariam Desalegn, vowed here Sunday to strive for new progress in the development of their comprehensive cooperative partnership.
In his talks with the Ethiopian prime minister, Li lauded the profound traditional friendship between the two countries and the steady deepening of bilateral cooperation, expressing the hope that his visit will further consolidate China-Ethiopia friendship and steer China-Ethiopia and China-Africa relations toward new achievements.
Noting that strengthening bilateral cooperation serves the fundamental and long-term interests of both sides, Li stressed that his country stands ready to make concerted efforts with Ethiopia to maintain the momentum of high-level mutual visits so as to further cement mutual political trust.
The two sides, Li proposed, should prioritize cooperation in infrastructure construction and development of energy and resources while expanding mutually beneficial collaboration in such fields as light rail and highway construction.
Beijing supports Ethiopia's efforts in establishing special economic zones and industrial parks, and is willing to share experience with Ethiopia in this regard in an unreserved manner and transfer to Ethiopia industries and technologies that suit the development needs of local communities, added Li.
China will continue to encourage Chinese enterprises and financial institutions to invest in Ethiopia's domestic construction, Li said, adding that Beijing hopes that the Ethiopian side will provide a better business environment and investment facilitation measures for Chinese companies.
Meanwhile, China is also ready to work with Ethiopia to boost cooperation in such areas as culture, education, health, technology and tourism, and enhance bilateral communication and coordination on major global and regional affairs so as to safeguard the legitimate rights of the development countries.
For his part, Hailemariam extended a warm welcome for the Chinese leader, saying the comprehensive cooperation between Ethiopia and China has promoted Ethiopia's economic growth and transformation.
Thanking China for its long-term, sincere and selfless assistance, he said Ethiopia is ready to further strengthen high-level engagement with China and work with China to map out a future strategic plan for bilateral cooperation.
Ethiopia, he added, welcomes more investment from Chinese enterprises and is willing to provide them with more investment facilitation measures.
African countries will carry out closer cooperation with China under the frameworks such as the China-Africa Cooperation Forum, and join hands with China to play a more active role in global and regional affairs, he said.
After their hour-long talks, the two leaders witnessed the signing of several cooperation deals covering such areas as technology, industry, infrastructure and finance.
Li arrived here earlier in the day for an official visit to the East African country, during which he is also to pay a visit to the African Union headquarters and deliver a speech there to expound on China's Africa policy.
The Horn of Africa country is the first leg of Li's four-nation tour, his first to the promising continent since he took over the Chinese premiership in March last year. He will also visit Nigeria, Angola and Kenya.