Chinese investors are eyeing on Africa

Updated: 2013-03-20 09:46


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Chinese investment in Africa has been booming in recent years with trade seeing a tenfold increase in less than a decade. China's Foreign Ministry held a forum on Monday in Beijing to discuss Chinese investment in Africa just prior to the 5th BRICS Summit to be held in South Africa later this year.

More and more Chinese companies are coming to invest in Africa, a continent growing in popularity among those looking for the next big thing.

Li Zhaoxing, president of China Public Diplomacy Association, said, "China and Africa are good friends, good brothers and good partners. China has actively supported African countries in developing their infrastructure and economy. China will speed up investment in Africa. China's new president Xi Jinping will attend the fifth leaders' summit in BRICS countries in South Africa. The visit by the new president will give impetus to the strengthening cooperation between China and African countries."

China has been Africa's largest trading partner since 2009, surpassing the United States and Europe. Official figures show that in 2011, China-Africa trade reached a record high of more than $160 billion, up 28 percent from the previous year. And it's estimated to have surpassed 200 billion in 2012.

Moreover, as of 2011, China's direct investment in Africa reached almost $15 billion, with more than 2,000 Chinese companies currently investing in Africa.

Meanwhile African countries are working with China, in hopes of learning from China about developing agricultural, manufacturing, science and technology sectors, while building up infrastructure and human resources, as well as addressing major regional and international issues.

Philip S. Marmo, Tanzanian Ambassador to China, said, "Over the years, the relations between China and Tanzania has transferred from traditional government to government context, has extended to people to people cooperation. More and more Tanzania businessmen are now trading in China. And more Chinese entrepreneurs are making HUGE investment in Tanzania.

The investment environment in Africa continues to looks bright for Chinese investors. China's Vice Foreign Minister says there's still room to improve.

Zhai Jun, vice minister of Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said, "With more and more Chinese entrepreneurs going to Africa, we see the quantity is growing but quality is not catching up. We see huge room for Chinese enterprises to increase their international management ability and to create a better business environment for both China and Africa."

China and African countries maintained good trade momentum last year against the backdrop of the slow recovery of the world economy and the difficulties caused by the European debt crisis. Experts say it's important for China and Africa to further expand their economic relationship within the new political realities and achieve healthy and sustainable development.

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Chinese investors are eyeing on Africa