Qin Gang Seeks Synergies between BRI and Emerging Gabon

Chinese FM Minister arrived in Gabon on 12 January 2023, after visiting Ethiopia and the AU in Addis Ababa. Gabon is thus the 2nd African country on his five-nation tour (#QinGangAfrica2023) at the beginning of 2023.

In Gabon, he was welcomed at the airport by his counterpart Gabon FM Michael Moussa Adamo. Chinese FM Qin Gang was also received by President Ali Bongo Ondimba at the Presidential Palace.

Currently, China is the largest trading partner of Gabon. Based on 2020 figures, the bilateral trade volume between Gabon and China amounted to over USD 3.2 billion. Gabon is one of the lucky few countries which enjoys a favorable balance of trade with China: it exported USD 2.8 billion to China but imported only USD 415 million.

Minister Qin Gang expressed the wish to explore synergies between the #BRI and Emerging Gabon. Emerging Gabon is short for Emerging Gabon Strategic Plan (EGSP) in full and is the National Development Plan (#NDP) of Gabon. Tts two principal development axes are the Green Gabon and Blue Gabon programs.

Gabon has embarked on its Green Gabon program as part of its transition to #NetZero. The large forests in Gabon contribute to the #decarbonization and Gabon has been trying to strike the right balance between its logging industry and #ClimateChange.

In addition, Gabon possesses rich and diverse mining resources with manganese and gold under exploitation. However, the government wishes to see a diversification into other minerals such as iron, cooper and diamonds. The mining sector accounts for about 11% of total exports with China as one of the major clients. Mining contributes 6% to the national GDP and employs 3% of its workforce outside the public sector.

Commenting the visit, the spokesperson of the Presidency, Jessy Ella Ekogha, sees the inclusion of Gabon in the first visit to Africa by newly appointed Chinese FM Qin Gang as “a sign of the powerful upswing of our country in the international scene and a token of its multifaceted geostrategic importance.”