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【新华网】林毅夫:Africa hopeful to achieve quick growth like East Asia: economist







KIGALI, June 29 (Xinhua) -- Africa is hopeful to achieve quick development like East Asia did after the World War II, said Justin Lin, professor at Peking University in China on Thursday.

"Since independence around 1960s, African countries started pursuing modernization, but have been unsuccessful," said Lin, Director of Center for New Structural Economics at Peking University, during an interview with Xinhua in Rwandan capital city Kigali.

If African countries could, through China-Africa cooperation including 'Belt and Road,' get assistance from China to improve infrastructure, and at the same time receive labor-intensive industries from China, African countries could hopefully achieve quick development like East Asia made after the World War II, said Lin, who is also a former chief economist and senior vice president of the World Bank.

This could "change Africa's destiny," he said on the sidelines of African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) events.

According to the professor, achievements of China-Africa cooperation are emerging, like Africa's first transnational electrified railway connecting Ethiopia and Djibouti and Mombasa-Nairobi standard gauge railway in Kenya. China is also providing assistance to Africa in the areas of road and electricity. Those help poverty eradication in Africa and remove development bottleneck of Africa.

"There are also many successful cases of China-Africa industrial cooperation," said Lin, citing a Chinese shoe making company in Ethiopia as an example. The success of the company named Huajian proved that Ethiopia is feasible to develop modern manufacturing industry and export products to international markets.

He also mentioned that Ethiopia and Rwanda are very hopeful to become examples of success for Africa countries, as both countries have stable society, strong development will from the government, and have good momentum of economic development.

During Wednesday's plenary session of Afreximbank events, Lin called on African countries to capture the opportunity of industrialization from the pending relocation of light manufacturing due to rising wages in China and other emerging market economies.

A series of events hosted by Afreximbank for its annual general meeting kicked off Wednesday in Kigali. The four-day events hoped to act as a catalyst to boost the African trade agenda with more than 100 speakers, academics, and African and global trade experts participating.