Abomey Calavi town Hall

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President Patrice Talon speech in the 2nd opening ceremony of “Forum invest in Africa '' (Guangzhou, China)

President Patrice Talon speech in the 2nd opening ceremony of “Forum invest in Africa '' (Guangzhou, China)

Excellencies Heads of State and Government;
Mr. Deputy Prime Minister of the People's Republic of China;
Prime Secretary of Guangdong Province;
The Governor of Guangzhou City;
Mr. President of the World Bank Group;
Mr. President of the China Development Bank;
Distinguished participants;
Ladies and gentlemen,

First of all, I would like to thank the Chinese authorities for the welcome and hospitality my delegation and I have received since our arrival in China.
I would also congratulate each other for the initiative and the excellent organization of this Forum.

Ladies and gentlemen,

The fight against poverty and promoting human development have become the concern of everyone for a shared welfare which the key factor is the economic development.

It is now indisputable that the profitable productive investment is the most effective mean to an efficient economic development.
Africa is no exception to this rule.
The official development aid program which is up to today the only way of promoting economic development has not met our expectations. Then, the financially profitable productive investment is now necessary to secure Africa from the rest of the world.

Nowadays, most of our countries in Africa are ready and provide a favorable field for such investment.
My country, Benin is well an example. Benin enjoys a remarkable political stability for almost half-century.

From 1972 to 1990, Benin has experienced a political system of planned economy with one political party. In 1990, through a national conference that brought together all political, military, and civil forces, Benin opted peacefully and consensually for a multiparty system with a liberal market-oriented economy.

Since then, four regimes have succeeded through six free, peaceful and transparent presidential elections.
The recent one in March 2016 that led to my election, recorded twenty-six contestants. Despite this large number of candidates, the results of the first round have given no reason to doubt that the outcome reflects the will of the Beninese people.
It was the same for the second round where the losing candidate, supported by the outgoing regime, conceded defeat and congratulated the elected President less than ten hours after the polling stations closes.
The prevailing climate of peace and stability attests the maturity of the political culture in Benin.

From the health perspective, Benin has a safe environment as evidence by the absence of major epidemics and the rate of prevalence of HIV remains below 1.2%, one of the lowest in Africa.

Despite the fact that Benin does not have significant natural resources, his strengths are countless.

From the tourism aspect, its zoo, its voodoo cultural heritage, its lakeside villages, its seaside potential and the remnants of its historical city, formerly trade slave post, make it a profitable tourism destination investments.

In agricultural arena, with the diversification and the ongoing modernization, Benin will become a powerful and huge regional agricultural pole with real investment opportunities.

It needs to be integrated into its surroundings, the dynamism of the Beninese people, good governance and the determination of the new leaders to structurally transform the economy of this country. It very important to note that, Benin is the gateway to the huge Nigerian market which is up to 200 million consumers.

That is why the top of this podium, I call china public and private enterprises to show interest in this beautiful and dynamic country in West Africa. My government and myself will not fail to actively undertake potential Chinese investors.

I also invite the government and Chinese financial institutions also international financial institutions like the World Bank and the China Development Bank to support proactively this new way of promoting development.

Ladies and gentlemen,
Let us not delude ourselves that productive and profitable investment will be made in Africa massively and spontaneously without unshakable support from the different states and different development financial institutions.

The development aid program must be expressed also by encouraging public and private companies to invest in Africa.
In this context, among other things, it is essential that structural investments should benefit from long-term financing;
In fact a persisting of the perception of high risks in most of our countries, make these funds virtually inaccessible to companies wishing to invest in Africa.

Ladies and gentlemen,
I remain hopeful that our Forum will be the beginning of a new commitment to the development of Africa by productive and profitable investments that our countries will finally meet.

Thank you for your attention.

Source/Author : Abomey Calavi town Hall
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