Benin’s President, Patrice Talon, announced on September 3rd that he has abolished entry visas for Chinese investors and tourists who wish to visit the West African country.
In a statement, his office emphasized, “Benin is fully opening its doors to China, aiming to establish a stronger foundation for cooperation that will mutually benefit both nations. Additionally, this move seeks to tap into the significant tourism potential from China, as Chinese nationals make up a substantial portion of our tourist influx.”
This decision was made during the 2023 China International Fair for Trade in Services (CIFTIS). President Talon’s trip to China took place in the context of celebrating the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries and his participation in the Fair.
During his visit, President Talon held discussions with Xi Jinping, and they signed a series of bilateral cooperation agreements covering areas such as the Belt and Road initiative, green development, digital economy, agriculture, food, and healthcare. President Talon also revealed that any Chinese company choosing to invest in Benin will receive joint investment support from both the Chinese and Benin governments.
Furthermore, he noted that this initiative would lead to the creation of a significant number of jobs and contribute significantly to poverty reduction.
President Talon asserted during his visit to CIFTIS that the technological partnership with China would transform Benin into a “world-class logistics center.” He emphasized the nation’s ambition to become a hub for industrial processing of agricultural products. According to President Talon, trade volume between the two countries reached $2 billion in 2022, marking a year-on-year increase of more than 30 percent