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加深关系 探索合作——专访冈比亚共和国外交、国际合作和侨民事务部长 乌赛努·达博(Ousainou Darboe)


希望中国企业能对冈比亚旅游业、农业和服务业进行投资。对于投资者冈比亚有颇具吸引力的激励机制。两国签署自贸协定,97%的冈比亚商品可以出口到中国,希望这能为两国贸易往来开辟更多通道


文I 本刊记者 周洋   实习记者 依翁·桑杜    翻译I 王晓波



2016年3月冈比亚与中国正式恢复外交关系。2017年7月31日至8月6日,冈比亚共和国外交、国际合作和侨民事务部长乌赛努·达博对中国进行正式访问。访问期间,在与中国外交部长王毅会谈时,达博外长表示,冈比亚坚定奉行“一个中国”政策,期待未来两国间能够在“一带一路”倡议下加强多领域务实合作。

8月2日,《中国投资》杂志就两国恢复外交关系,冈比亚的投资环境等问题独家采访了乌赛努·达博外长。

 

《中国投资》:由阿达马·巴罗总统组阁的新政府已制定了执政方针。那么,应当如何将“一带一路”倡议与冈比亚的社会和经济发展计划结合起来?

乌赛努·达博:习近平主席提出的“一带一路”倡议旨在改进全球的基础设施状况,同时发展中国与世界各国的国际合作。事实上这一倡议与冈比亚的社会经济发展议程是非常契合的。我们很想改善我国的基础设施条件,希望建立内陆公路网,特别是在农村地区,并将它们与主要公路连接起来,实现互联互通。我们还计划修建桥梁,我们的国土被一条河流隔开,这条河贯穿冈比亚的南部和北部,两岸之间的往来只能依靠渡轮。因此,我们想在一些战略要地修建桥梁,此外,基础设施的发展还包括提供稳定且国民负担得起的电力供应。我认为,所有这些计划都能够与中国政府提出的“一带一路”倡议很好地衔接。

 

《中国投资》:6月,冈比亚政府宣布,被称为ECOMIG的西非共同体军队在冈比亚的驻扎时间将再延长12个月。冈比亚的下届大选是2020年,目前在政局稳定方面是否还面临着威胁?

乌赛努·达博:安全问题绝对不能掉以轻心,需要时刻保持警惕,所以冈比亚政府要求将ECOMIG的驻扎时间再延长12个月。而且不只是延长,军队还要再增派1000名士兵。这主要是为了能有足够的时间来给目前的安全局势“消毒”,因为它被“污染”了,被政治化了,需要时间来清理局势。与此同时,我们也正在建设一支国家安全部队。我们认为ECOMIG驻扎时间的延长和增加兵力有助于冈比亚建立一支真正意义上的国家部队,而不是简单的民兵组织或者部族队伍。拥有了自己的国家安全部队后,就能为今后的和平选举打下牢固的基础。上届总统选举和大会投票就是在和平的气氛中进行的,这主要得益于冈比亚人民热爱和平的本性。如果再配备上得力的国家军队,我们可以保证即将到来的2018年地方选举一定会和平举行。我们也要确保冈比亚的稳定,不会遭到破坏和处于危险之中。

 

《中国投资》:自1965年独立以来,冈比亚与一些国家,包括与中国的关系经历了起伏跌宕。那么在今后几十年里,冈比亚打算怎样与中国加深两国间的关系?

乌赛努·达博:我们确实与一些国家的关系出现过不融洽,这其中与中国的关系表现得最明显。1965年冈比亚刚独立时,它在联合国明确表态支持台湾,不过这只持续了很短一段时间。当我们成为共和国后,我们重新思考了自己的外交政策,并且与中国建立了外交关系。可是到了1994年,军政府统治下的冈比亚政府又决定与台湾建立外交关系。1996年,我所在的政党,也就是当时的反对党,坚定地认为我们应当奉行一个中国的立场,这也是我们一贯奉行的政策。我们从过去与中国关系破裂中得到许多教训,我们将深刻铭记这些教训,因此我们期望与中国进一步加深两国关系,并且通过两国官员间的各种互动,使我们的合作更加具象化。我们不希望在任何情况下冈比亚放弃对“一个中国”政策的支持,或者两国在国际事务上产生争执。我们既有共同的命运,也有共同的历史背景,包括都曾遭受过殖民压迫。我们的共同之处让我们紧紧团结在一起。事实上,在过去几个月里,中国对冈比亚采取的立场充分证明我们两国间的关系一定能够越来越牢固。

去年,我们与中国恢复了外交关系,我的这次到访也是为了将两国间友好的关系向未来推进,直至永远。

我们不希望两国关系再出现任何的不和谐。我们认为目前已经开启了相互合作的顺利旅程,因为在与中国重新建交后短短的几个月时间里,冈比亚已经获益匪浅。

中国在冈比亚建设国际会议中心和向冈比亚输送医疗专家方面给予了许多援助。上个月中国又向冈比亚提供了大量的大米,以帮助满足冈比亚的粮食需求。我们一直保持密切沟通,绝不允许两国的外交关系再遭践踏。

 

《中国投资》:作为冈比亚的投资者和贸易伙伴,您期望中国在今后发挥哪些作用?

乌赛努·达博:我们期望中国在其对非洲的政策范围内,不仅向冈比亚提供援助,而且还能为中国公民赴冈比亚投资创造条件。这样就能帮助我们实现真正的独立,从而减少对援助的依赖。我已经与中方的官员进行了讨论,表达了我们对投资的需求。我也会见了许多中国企业负责人,我们希望中国企业能对冈比亚的旅游业、农业和服务业进行投资。对于投资者我们有颇具吸引力的激励机制,而且冈中两国签署了自贸协定,97%的冈比亚商品可以出口到中国,希望这能为两国间的贸易往来开辟更多的通道。

 

《中国投资》:有更多让投资者获益的优惠政策吗?

乌赛努·达博:这将取决于投资的类型。如果是资本密集型投资,投资者至少在头三年可以享受免除关税和税收优惠,这样企业在投资后就可以先收回部分投资。我们当然也非常鼓励那些能够创造就业的投资。我们期望中国的一些制造商能把他们的工厂建在冈比亚,这对他们来说是很有好处的。

 

《中国投资》:中国的企业可能会对投资鲜花、热带水果、棉花和大米的种植与出口感兴趣,在这些领域有合作的潜力吗?

乌赛努·达博:这些领域的合作是可能的。事实上,我们现在非常鼓励对棉花的投资,因为我们缺乏经过改良的各类棉种。我们已经有了一个轧花厂,可以用它来生产成品,提高附加值,并扩大出口。在我国中部被称为中河区的地方,水稻的生产具有巨大潜力。中国在水稻生产和加工方面有着娴熟的技能,这对我们来说是非常有价值的。此外,在同一地区,目前有小规模的水产养殖,这也完全可以实现商业化。

此访就是为了探索在许多领域的合作,包括修建港口,因为我们要快速发展。希望在未来几年里,这些项目都能实现。(编辑:张梅)




Deepen Relations and Explore Cooperation

——Interview H.E. Mr. Ousainou Darboe,the Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and Gambians Abroad, the Republic of The Gambia


Zhou Yang, Yvonnie Sundu, China Investment;Photo by Yang Haixia


In March.2016, Gambia formally resumeddiplomatic relations with China. From July.31 to August.6, H.E. Mr. OusainouDarboe,the Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and GambiansAbroad, the Republic of The Gambia,paid an official visit to China. During his visit,inthe meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Mr. Darboe expressed clearlythat Gambia would firmly follow the ‘One China’ policy, through the One Beltand One Road Initiativeas well as, China and Gambia would strengtheingpragmatic cooperation in many fields in future. Journalists from ChinaInvestment interviewed the minister on the reestablishment of diplomaticrelations,the investment environment in Gambia among other issues.

 

China Investment: As the new administrationunder president Adama Barrow moves in with its policy agenda, how does the Beltand Road Initiative fit in the socio-economic programs of The Gambia?

Ousainou Darboe: The Belt and Road programby President Xi Jinping is really aimed at providing global infrastructuredevelopment as well as international cooperation between China and the rest ofthe world. In fact, the program augurs well with the social economicdevelopment agenda of The Gambia. We are looking forward to achieving thedevelopment of our infrastructure, inland road networks especially in the ruralareas, to have them linked up with the main roads so that accessibility iseasy. We are also looking in the area of constructing bridges as you knowGambia is divided by a river. It runs through the southern and northern partsand interconnection is done by use of ferries. Instead we want bridges built invery strategic locations. Again, part of the infrastructure development we arelooking into as part of propping up the socio economic advancement of thecountry is the provision of reliable and affordable electricity supply. Allthese we believe ranks well with the concept of OBOR by the Chinese government.

 

China Investment: The mandate of the WestAfrican troops known as ECOMIG was in June extended for an additional twelvemonths. With the next elections in The Gambia due in 2020, what are the mainthreats to political stability, if any?

Ousainou Darboe: Security matters you don’ttake anything for granted. You have to be on alert and of course the Gambiangovernment had to ask for the extension of the mandate of the ECOMIG for afurther 12 months. It is not only the extension but also additional troops tomake it 1000. This basically was to allow time to sanitize the present securitysituation. It is polluted, it is politicized and it has to take time in orderto clean it up. Meanwhile, we are making sure that we are building a nationalsecurity force and we believe that with the extension of the ECOMIG mandate aswell as addition of troops, this will really help us to really build up anational army and not a people’s militia or an ethnic army. With that done, itwill lay a solid foundation for peaceful elections. We had peaceful electionsduring the last presidential and general assembly polls and that was due tolargely, to the peaceful nature of Gambians. With a national army and peaceful Gambians, that will further bedemonstrated in the upcoming elections in 2018 for the local government. We canassure you that we will go through it peacefully and we will ensure that thestability of The Gambia is not in any way compromised or in danger.

 

China Investment: Since independence in1965, The Gambia has experienced a rugged path to the ties with some countriesincluding China. In the next decades, how is The Gambia prepared to deepen relations with China?

Ousainou Darboe: We have had some uneaserelations with countries and that of China, probably the most prominent. In1965, when The Gambia became independent, at the United Nations the countrythrew its support for Taiwan but that was for a short time and by the time webecame a republic, Gambia rethought its foreign policy and established relationshipwith China. In 1994 again, the government of Gambia under the military rule,decided to establish diplomatic relations with Taiwan. In 1996, my party, inopposition then, took the stand that Gambia’s policy should be that of OneChina and that is the policy we have adopted, consistently. We have learnt alot from our raptured relationship with China in the past and those lessonswill be kept in mind and because that we envisage that the Gambia – Chinarelationship will really be further strengthened and that our cooperation, willbe further concretized through various interactions between officials of thetwo countries. We do not foresee any situation where The Gambia will refrainfrom its position of support for China, or a situation that will make the twocountries at loggerheads on global issues. We share a common destiny as well ashistoric background including being suppressed at one time. The commonality ofour past characteristics unifies us and indeed the position adopted by China inrelation to The Gambia in the past few months, can only attest to the fact thatour relationship will grow from strength to strength. Last year, we resumeddiplomatic relationship with China and my visit is to attest to the cordialrelationship between the two countries hope to nurture for the future andforever. We do not envisage any more uneasiness in our relations, we believethat we have started a smooth journey of mutual cooperation and that the Gambiahas, in the few months that it has reestablished diplomatic ties with China,benefited a lot. China has provided us aid to construct an internationalconference centre, medical assistance by way of medical personnel who areexperts in various fields and are currently in The Gambia. Last month, it hasprovided a huge consignment of rice to assist in meeting The Gambia’s foodsecurity agenda. We have been working very closely and do not envisage anythingthat can mar the diplomatic relations.

 


China Investment: What kind of role isChina expected to play in future as an investor and trading partner of TheGambia?

Ousainou Darboe: We expect that within itsforeign policy towards Africa, China will not only be an aid provider to theGambia but it will also create an environment for its citizen to invest in ourcountry. In that way, we can be independent and lessen our dependency on aid. Ihave during my discussion with officials here, pointed out the need for Chineseinvestment. I have had meetings with many Chinese companies and we hope that wewill have Chinese businesses investing in the tourism industry, agriculture andin-services. We have very attractive incentives for investors and there a freetrade agreement signed between the two countries which will allow 97% ofGambian goods to be exported to China. We hope this will open up huge avenuesof trade between the countries.

 

China Investment: Are there any morepolicies that can benefit these investors?

Ousainou Darboe: It depends on the kind ofinvestment. If it is Capital Intensive Investment, you certainly enjoy dutywaivers and tax holidays for at least a period of three years. This is so as toallow the business to recoup some of the investment that it has injected in thecountry. We are of course encouraging investment that will create moreemployment. We are looking forward to seeing may be some of the Chinesemanufacturers allocating some of their factories to The Gambia and they willenjoy these benefits.

 

China Investment: Chinese companies may bekeen on investment in the areas of production and shipment of flowers andtropical fruit, cotton and rice. Is there a possibility of cooperation in theseareas?

Ousainou Darboe: Cooperation in these areasis possible. In fact, we are encouraging investment in cotton because of lackof improved varieties of cotton seeds. We already have a ginnery which can beused for value addition and exported as a finished product. The middle belt ofthe country called the Central River region, has the greatest potential forirrigated rice production. And with the Chinese expertise in rice productionand processing, they can be very valuable. In addition, in the same area,aquaculture which is done on a small scale can really be commercialized. Thisvisit is meant to explore a lot of things including construction of ports as weare on an expansion drive. We are hoping on that in the next few years, theseprojects will materialise.