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China to further support Africa in infrastructure constructi

China has encouraged enterprises and financial institutions to participate in Africa's infrastructure construction and will continue to deepen exchanges and cooperation in related fields, according to an official white paper released Thursday.

Infrastructure projects including transportation, communications and electric power projects is "a starting point for improving the investment environment and people's livelihoods in Africa," says the paper on China-Africa economic and trade cooperation published by the Information Office of the State Council.

China has seen a substantial increase in its support to African infrastructure projects in the past years. In 2012, Chinese enterprises completed construction contracts worth 40.83 billion U.S. dollars in Africa, 45 percent more than the level in 2009, says the paper.

From 2009 to 2012, Africa remained China's second largest overseas contract market, according to the paper.

Chinese enterprises have helped African countries improve their traffic conditions and expand the coverage of Africa's telecommunication network, says the paper, citing a railway rehabilitation project in Angola and a project for building a fiber-optic transmission network in Tanzania.

China also worked with African countries in building hydropower stations and power grids. The Malabo Gas Plant in Equatorial Guinea, undertaken by Chinese enterprises, is expected to improve local power supply while promoting agricultural irrigation and ecological tourism, according to the paper.

From 2010 to May 2012, China approved concessional loans worth a total of 11.3 billion U.S. dollars for 92 African projects, the paper says, adding that some of China's main commercial banks also started buyer's credit businesses in Africa to fund local infrastructure projects.

The paper also noted that Chinese enterprises have paid attention to localized operation and management. Large Chinese communication companies in Africa have cooperated with 1,200 local subcontractors and indirectly provided more than 10,000 job opportunities, according to the paper.

The paper said China will deepen cooperation with Africa in various fields related to infrastructure to improve people's livelihoods, and enhance exchanges and cooperation so as to help Africa improve its capacity for future development.

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