Shandong Province, as an important powerhouse in China, is lying on the eastern coast and it has a significant influence in the development of China, Africa and the world at large.
The people of Shandong province have always attached great importance for their cooperation with African countries and in recent years, high level mutual visits have been represented.
According to Shandong’s Foreign Ministry officials, the relationship between China and Africa dated back years ago and they shared common destiny, history and they have been supporting each other in the international arena.
Last December, the President of the People’s Republic of China Mr. Xi Jinping, visited some African countries and the preliminary session of the China-Africa Cooperation Summit was held in Johannesburg. During the preliminary session, the action plan of the China-Africa Cooperation Summit 2016-2018 was approved.
The decoration of action plan through the new blueprint has injected new momentum for the cooperation of China and Africa.
Therefore, the officials of the Shandong Ministry of Foreign Affairs disclosed during a recent meeting with journalists from 27 African countries currently in China that on the belt and road initiative, Shandong have some cooperation with Africa and they have laid a solid foundation for the practical cooperation between China and Africa.
Currently, the belt and road initiative is an important strategy of China and Shandong as an opening province to growth is an important hub to the initiative.
Embracing the world through cooperation
Shandong has cultivated 412 sisterhood relationships and friendly cooperative relationships with over 72 countries from the 5 continents, including 63 pairs at the provincial level.
The friendly exchange and cooperation in areas such as politics, economy, culture, education, science, technology and sports are constantly expanding. Shandong enjoys trade flows with over 180 countries and regions around the world.
In 2015, Shandong reported a total foreign trade volume of USD241.75 billion, paid-in foreign investment of USD16.3 billion and outbound investment of USD5.78 billion.
At present, more than 200 enterprises out of the Fortune Global 500 have made investments in Shandong, and more than 4000 enterprises from Shandong have invested overseas.
An economic powerhouse in China
Shandong is a very popular province in the year of 2015, the overall population of the province reaches 98.47 million which account for 7.2% of the overall population of China
Thus, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Shandong grew by 8% to 6.3 million Yuan in 2015, ranking 3rd in China.
According to Shandong’s Foreign Ministry official, the province with its advanced agricultural industry is an important agricultural producer in China, as a province with the largest agricultural output value in China for over a decade consecutively.
The area is a major producer of grain, vegetables, fruits, oil crops, aquatic products and animal by-products.
The industry of Shandong, boasting solid foundation and complete categories, includes strong traditional sectors such as food, textile, household appliances, chemicals and construction materials, as well as rapidly growing emerging sectors such as auto mobiles, locomotives, ships, and electronic information, bio-pharmaceutical and new materials.
Shandong is also a powerhouse of industries. It has enjoyed a balanced development of its industries and its industries have enjoyed a turnover of 14.7 trillion Yuan which rank 2nd around China .
It is also a major power of service industry, its added value of service industry reached 2.85 trillion Yuan which rank 3rd nationally. The province is also a power house of resources, and it capacity for generating electricity reached 100 million kw and it ranks 1st in the country.
Silk Road Economic Belt
Shandong as an important executor of China’s ocean strategy, is serving as a juncture of the “Silk Road Economic Initiative” and the “21st century Maritime Silk Road”.
Moreover the new pattern of balanced regional development across the province is taking shape by implementing the national development strategies of “Shandong Peninsula Blue Economic Zone”, as well as provincial strategies of the “Economic Circle of Provincial Capital City Clusters” and the “Rising Economic Belt in the West of Shandong”.
The province has a well developed transportation system, as the Beijing-Shanghai and multiple high speed railway lines all passed through the province.
Profound history and rich culture
Shandong province, with its time-honored history, is an important cradle of Chinese civilization, home to china’s earliest characters, the first academy for philosophic debate, the most ancient city-state, the oldest great wall, as well as the origin of pottery and silk.
It is the birth place of such extraordinary things as Confucius, Sun Tzu, Mencius and Mo Tse.
The distinctive Qilu culture has secured Shandong a unique place in China’s cultural landscape. The Confucianism represented by Confucius, in particular, has important influence on the world even today.
Shandong abound with tourism resource, including 4 world heritage sites such as Mount Tai, the Confucian Compound, the Great Wall of Qi, Shandong section of the Grand Canal and many historical and cultural cities, key cultural relic protection sites, national scenic areas, nature reserves and national intangible cultural heritages.
At the end of the meeting, the Shandong officials commended the African journalists for touring their province, as well expressed hope that the relationship between Africa and China will grow from strength to strength.
by Mariatou Ngum