More Chinese enterprises are investing in Africa with their technological and personnel advantages and the abundant resources in Africa, said Wang Chao, assistant minister of commerce, in Xiamen on Monday.
"In recent years, the African economy has developed rapidly. China has a huge market, rich experiences in development, and capital, technology and professionals needed by the African countries. Powerful and reputable Chinese enterprises are eager to invest in Africa," Wang said at the African Countries Investment Seminar, one seminar of the 12th Xiamen International Fair for Investment and Trade which opened on Monday.
The annual growth rate of China-Africa bilateral trade volume remains at more than 30 percent since 2000. Mutual trade volume was 73.3 billion dollars in 2007 and 53.1 billion dollars in first half of this year, Wang said
"The China-Africa trade cooperation is highly complementary as Africa is a land with a huge population, rich resources and great development potentials," he said.
Chinese enterprises had actively invested in Africa countries with a direct investment up to 305 million dollars from January to June in 2008. Besides the traditional fields such as trade and engineering, the scope of investment projects has extended to agriculture, tourism, energy and medical treatment.
"The policy and legal environment for Chinese and African enterprises to carry out investment cooperation is improving constantly," he said.
Currently, China has signed the Bilateral Improvement and Investment Protection Agreement with 29 African countries, and signed the Avoidance of Double Taxing and Tax Evasion Prevention Agreement.
Commercial Officials from more than ten Africa countries, including the Republic of South Africa, the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Republic of Namibia, introduced the investment policies, resources and predominant industries. They showed their larger interest in export and the will to attract China's investment.
"China is a major trading partner and continues to be a major source of foreign direct investment in Ghana," said Papa Owusu-Ankomah, Minister for Trade, Industry, Private Sector Development and President's Special Initiative.
The total trade volume between Ghana and China has been increasing steadily from 117.86 million US dollars in 2000 to 542.8 million US dollars in 2006, an increase of almost 40 percent, he noted.
"Chinese investments in Ghana have increased over the last five years, making China one of the leading sources of foreign direct investment into our country. Between September 1994 and December 2007, the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre registered 336 projects of Chinese origin. Some of these projects are either wholly Chinese-owned whilst others are in joint venture collaboration with Ghanaian or other nationals in all sectors of the economy.
"I am pleased to note that Ghana and China have maintained very cordial political, cultural and economic relations for several decades," he said.
"Many opportunities exist in value addition activities and ariculture and freshwater (aquaculture) fisheries. Here we need the Chinese know-how and markets," said Mara Zaire, manager of Namibi Investment Centre.
"The Republic of Namibia's marine resources are among the richest in the world and our fishing grounds remain unpolluted. The nutrient rich Benguela current produces numerous commercially important species of fish and shellfish.
"Mauritius has strong economic ties with China. China remains one of our major trading partners," Rajesh Jeeta, Minister of Industry, Small and Medium Industries, Commerce and Cooperatives
"With robust growth being registered and rising standard of living, the Chinese market is expanding and becoming more sophisticated. While Mauritius obviously cannot match the clout of China, it can certainly raise and diversify its exports to this growing market. I hope that this event will also provide some insight into ways and means to increase exports to China," he said.
"African countries value the Fair highly, and send high-level delegations to participate in the Fair in each year. The attendances of many ministerial-level officials of African countries in today's Fair fully demonstrate it," Wang Chao said.
At present, many African countries are actively improving the country's investment environment so as to attract investors, and they set down many preferential policies that Chinese enterprises intending to explore the African markets are eager to know, Wang said.
Promoted by both governments and through the joint effort of Chinese and African enterprises, the trade cooperation between China and Africa develops greatly, achieving fruitful results, in recent years.
The Beijing Summit of China-Africa Cooperation Forum held in November 2006 was a big event in the China-Africa relationship with an epoch-making significance. At present, the implementation of eight polices and measures on pragmatically cooperating with African countries have achieved initial results.
The first trade and economic cooperation zone, agricultural center of excellence, malaria control and prevention center of China has been established; China has signed a framework agreement on preferential loans with 20 countries; 13 countries have proposed to use the export-preferred loans of purchaser; the Africa Union Headquarters Center has been founded; the China-Africa Development Fund has invested in six projects, with an investment amount to about 100 million US dollars, which will cause Chinese enterprises to invest in Africa with an amount of about 400 dollars.
(Xinhua News Agency September 9, 2008)