The first biennial China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo in the central Chinese province of Hunan will be held in the provincial capital, Changsha, from June 18 to 20, Xinhua reports.

The Chinese government-run news agency says the event will present opportunities for Sino-African economic engagement.

The report says big deals will be signed at the expo.

The expo will include forums, investment promotions and business negotiations.

Quoting a written statement issued by the Hunan provincial government, Xinhua says the provincial government and the Ministry of Commerce are jointly putting on the expo.

The statement says many Africans attended an event in Beijing to promote the expo, including representatives of Guiné-Bissau and Cabo Verde.

It quotes Ministry of Commerce official Li Chenggang as saying the expo will be a new vehicle for Sino-African economic engagement.

The value of trade between Hunan and Africa was US$2.8 billion last year, and the value of Hunan investment in Africa was nearly US$1 billion, Xinhua says.