Official Press Statement on the Visit of Chinese Delegation to Liberia

The Vice Minister of Commerce in charge of Foreign Aid and Foreign Economic Relations of the People’s Republic of China, Mr. Fu Ziying, at the head of a 42 member Chinese Economic and Trade Delegation visited Liberia from 22-25 April 2010.

The Vice Minister’s Delegation comprised of 14 Government Officials, 23 business executives and five journalists. Among the top executives were Mr. Li Ping, Vice Governor of the China Development Bank; Mr. Chi Jianxin, CEO of China Africa Development Fund (CADFund); Mr. Peng Chen, Vice President of Wuhan Iron and Steel Group; Mr. Tong Jisheng, Vice President of Shanghai Construction Company; Mr. Lu Jianzhong, Deputy Director General of First Highway Engineering Co. Ltd of CCCG and Mr.Zhou Jiayi, Assistant Managing Director of Sinohydro Corporation Ltd.

Vice Governor of the China Development Bank; Mr. Chi Jianxin, CEO of China Africa Development Fund (CADFund); Mr. Peng Chen, Vice President of Wuhan Iron and Steel Group; Mr. Tong Jisheng, Vice President of Shanghai Construction Company; Mr. Lu Jianzhong, Deputy Director General of First Highway Engineering Co. Ltd of CCCG and Mr.Zhou Jiayi, Assistant Managing Director of Sinohydro Corporation Ltd.

Vice Minister Fu and his delegation were received in audience by Her Excellency Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the President of the Republic of Liberia, during which they reviewed details of the Liberia China Partnership and discussed measures to intensify the relationship.
 President Johnson Sirleaf expressed appreciation for the China Liberia Partnership and noted how pleased she was that it was moving in the direction of the development of the private sector in Liberia.  
She welcomed the high level representation of China’s private and banking sectors on the delegation.  The Liberian Leader stated her particular satisfaction at the pace with which the China Union/Bong Mines Project was moving towards full implementation and averred that it would make a great economic impact on the whole country.
 She said Government would ensure the speedy transfer of assets and added that the presence of Members of the Legislature was an indication of their support for the project which should ensure speedy ratification of the amended agreement.
Members of the Bong County Legislative Caucus and the Superintendent of Bong County where the project is located concurred that implementation would make a tremendous impact on the economy of the county and entire country.
Vice Minister Fu thanked the President for receiving the delegation and for the very warm welcome he and the delegation had been accorded since their arrival.  He complimented the Liberian President for her leadership and vision for Liberia noting that great progress has already been made under her direction in a very short time.
 He referred to her personal intervention in meetings with the Chinese Premier at Sharm El Sheikh to get the Bong Mines project moving.  He conveyed to the President warm greetings from President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao of China and said the Chinese leadership attaches great importance to China’s bilateral relations with Liberia.
 He stressed the great importance of the Bong Mines Project and said he was happy to see its launching.  He added that the Chinese side was also ready to fund the Hydro project and to undertake a serious program of Corporate Social Responsibility in the region, including education, health care delivery and agriculture.
The Vice Governor of the China Development Bank recalled his meeting with the President at Sharm El Sheik and observed that survival of the Bong Mines Project was due to her intervention.
 The China Development Bank wholly funded the China Africa Development Fund which has taken majority interest in the project. He pledged his Bank’s support for development of the hydro plant to supply power to Bong Mines.
The Visiting Chinese Vice Minister also earlier held extensive talks with Her Excellency Olubanke King Akerele, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Liberia together with the Ministers of Justice; Commerce and Industry; Lands, Mines and Energy; Information, Culture and Tourism, and the Chairman of the National Investment Commission.  Also present were the Acting Ministers of Finance; Agriculture; and Planning & Economic Affairs along with the Deputy Ministers of Public Works; Education; and Health and Social Welfare and Chief Medical Officer.
The two sides undertook a comprehensive review of bilateral cooperation between the two countries and expressed satisfaction at the implementation of the 8 Measures of Aid adopted at the Forum on China Africa Cooperation Summit in Beijing in 2006.  They agreed on the need to implement as soon as possible the new 8 Measures of Aid announced at the FOCAC Meeting held in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt in November 2009.
Following the Bilateral Talks, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Her Excellency Mrs. Olubanke King Akerele, and the Chinese Vice Minister of Commerce, Mr. Fu Ziying, signed the following Agreement and Exchanges of Letters between the Republic of Liberia and the People’s Republic of China:
Agreement on Economic and Technical Cooperation between the Governments of Liberia and the People’s Republic of China – China shall provide 60 Million RMB Yuan gratuitous assistance to Liberia.
Exchange of Letters on Zero Tariff Treatment – Products originating from Liberia to China shall be exempted for 60% import duty.
 Exchange of Letters on Technical Cooperation Project for the Liberia Broadcasting System – China shall dispatch five experts to LBS and provide maintenance of the facilities and training for LBS technicians.
Exchange of Letters for the Provision of 10 Million RMB Yuan by China for additional medical materials to the Tappita Hospital to support its operations. Exchange of Letters for the Provision by China of 1.5 Million RMB Yuan for medical equipment to the China Liberia Malaria Prevention and Treatment Center. Exchange of Letters for the Provision by China of 3 Million RMB Yuan malaria medicines to Liberia.
After the signing of the Agreements and the audience with the President, ceremonies were held at the C. Cecil Dennis Auditorium for the Start-Up of the China Union (Liberia) Bong Mines Project with the President, Speaker and Members of the Liberian National Legislature in attendance.
  The Chinese side mounted a video introduction of CADFund and Wuhan Iron and Steel Group, both important participants in the Bong Mines Project.  The President unveiled the Plague of China Union (Liberia) Bong Mines and reaffirmed Government’s commitment to full implementation of the Project including the speedy transfer of assets and ratification of the amended Agreement.
The Start-Up Ceremonies were followed by a reception tendered in honor of the Chinese Vice Minister of Commerce by the Minister of Foreign Minister of Liberia.
 The Delegation visited the China aided Bamboo and Rattan Weaving and Vegetable Demonstration Technology Projects in Liberia during the visit.  The delegation also visited the Fendall Campus Project of the University of Liberia under construction with Chinese aid.
Members of the delegation held discussions with Liberian business executives at the Chinese Embassy followed by Roundtable discussions with diplomats and journalists.
The Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Liberia, His Excellency Zhou Yuxiao, hosted a Forum on China Liberia Economic and Trade Cooperation which was addressed by the Vice President of the Republic of Liberia, His Excellency Joseph N. Boakai.
 The Chinese Vice Minister also addressed the Forum.  Other speakers included the Minister of Commerce and Industry, Honorable Miata Beysolow, Chairman of the National Investment Commission, Dr. Richard Tolbert    , Vice Governor of the China Development Bank, Mr. Li Jiping, and executives of Shanghai Construction Group, Highway Engineering Co., and Sinohydro Corporation.
Ambassador Zhou also hosted a photo exhibition of Liberia China and Africa China Cooperation followed by a reception.
The Vice Minister met with the Chinese Peacekeeping Contingent serving with the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) and expressed the gratitude of his government for their sacrificial service in the interest of peace and humanity.
Vice Minister Fu and delegation further toured Bong Mines, accompanied by the Ministers of Justice and Lands, Mines and Energy of Liberia.  They received enthusiastic welcome by the officials and traditional leaders as well as the people of Bong County.
The Chinese Vice Minister also met and held discussions with members of the Chinese Embassy Staff.
The Chinese Vice Minister of Commerce and his delegation departed Liberia at about 10:00 O’clock Sunday, April 25, 2010.
They were seen off at Roberts International Airport by the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs for International Cooperation and Economic Integration, Ambassador Sylvester M. Grigsby, Deputy Minister of Commerce and Industry, Honorable Dr. Frederick Norkeh, Chinese Ambassador to Liberia, His Excellency Zhou Yuxiao, Liberia’s Ambassador to China, Her Excellency Neh Dukuly Tolbert and Deputy Chief of Protocol Emmett Kennedy together with members of the Chinese Embassy Staff.