|Chinese Premier Li Keqiang(back L) holds talks with Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos (back R), in Luanda, Angola, May 9, 2014. (Xinhua/Li Tao)|
LUANDA, May 9 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos held talks here Friday and pledged concerted efforts to further promote bilateral relations and cooperation.
During their talks, Li said Beijing is willing to work with Luanda to further strengthen the role of the two governments in coordinating and leading bilateral cooperation, enhance cooperation in development planning, and sign a bilateral investment protection agreement as soon as possible.
The two sides, Li said, should steer their cooperation into an industry-driven mode, continue to expand the program of preferential loans, and deepen practical cooperation in energy, infrastructure, finance, agriculture, urbanization and manufacturing.
The premier also suggested that China and Angola explore the possibility of building an Angola-centered regional aviation network so as to improve regional interconnectivity.
The Chinese government encourages Chinese enterprises to invest in Angola, and hopes that Angola will continue to facilitate Chinese investment and ensure the safety of Chinese institutions and personnel, Li said.
China is also ready to promote closer people-to-people exchanges and increase mutual understanding between the two peoples, added the premier.
Meanwhile, Li said China highly values its ties with Angola, and views the African country as a close friend and important partner within China-Africa cooperation.
China, he added, supports Angola's national governance plan focusing on development, stability and employment, and stands ready to increase exchanges between the two countries' political parties and share experiences in national governance.
Additionally, China is willing to maintain closer coordination with Angola in regional and international affairs, Li said.
For his part, dos Santos said China is an important force in safeguarding the peace and development of Africa and the world, and a reliable friend and partner for Africa.
Noting that the two countries have enjoyed fruitful cooperation in the past and share broad prospects in the future, the Angolan president said that strengthening bilateral cooperation is vital to the sustained development of Angola.
Angola thanks China's long-standing support, and stands ready to further expand mutually beneficial cooperation and enhance unity and coordination with China in regional and international affairs, said the president.
Angola welcomes more investment from China as well as active participation of Chinese enterprises in the African nation's economic and social development, said dos Santos, pledging that his country will facilitate such investment.
After their talks, the two leaders witnessed the signing of a series of cooperation deals on economy, technology, health care, finance and personnel exchanges.
Speaking at a joint press conference afterwards, Li reiterated that Angola is an important partner of China and the two countries present each other with valuable development opportunities, adding that the two sides have agreed to set up a joint work group to chart the course of bilateral cooperation in key areas.
Citing Angola's huge demand in infrastructure construction and China's strength in production capacity, technology and foreign exchange reserves, Li urged the two sides to lift bilateral cooperation in relevant areas to higher levels by dovetailing with each other and making full use of the market.
China, said the premier, is also ready to share agricultural technology and experience with Angola in an unreserved manner, maintain closer people-to-people exchanges, and support the African nation in strengthening personnel training and expanding youth employment.
Noting that around a million Chinese nationals are working and living in Africa, and 260,000 in Angola alone, Li said China supports capable and reputable Chinese enterprises to invest in Africa and participate in Angola's economic and social development.
He asked Chinese enterprises and nationals in Angola to abide by local laws and respect local culture, and expressed the hope that the Angolan side will ensure their safety and provide more convenience for their work and life.
Angola is the third leg of Li's ongoing four-nation Africa tour, his first to the promising continent since he took office in March last year. He visited Ethiopia and Nigeria earlier in the trip, which will conclude in Kenya.