Business / Economy

China to play bigger role in African service sector

By Bao Chang (China Daily) Updated: 2012-05-30 11:15

Senior official says Sino-African JVs will promote competitiveness

China will increase its investment in Africa's service sector, helping the continent play a greater role in the industry, which has become a mainstay of the global economy, said Vice-Minister of Commerce Li Jinzao.

"Africa's service sector is still in its infancy and China would like to share its resources and experience with the continent by establishing joint ventures," Li said.

Chinese investment will help promote the independent development and competitiveness of Africa's service industry, he added.

Li made the remarks at a forum on Sino-African trade in services and investment held during the ongoing China Beijing International Fair for Trade in Services.

Accounting for about 70 percent of the world economic aggregate, the service sector is responsible for two-thirds of global transnational investment and one-fifth of world trade.

Speaking at the fair, World Trade Organization Director-General Pascal Lamy said that he hoped China could play a leading role in the global service industry's opening up.

Chinese service exports currently rank fourth in the world and the nation's imports rank third globally, said Li.

By 2015, China's service trade value will reach $600 billion, or 47 percent of its GDP, up from the current figure of 43 percent.

"China and Africa should also strengthen their cooperation in electricity, transportation and information services, deepening bilateral service trade in the infrastructure industry," Li added.

Mzwakhe Lubisi, investment promotion manager of Richards Bay Industrial Development Zone in South Africa, told China Daily that Chinese investors have moved up the value chain in Africa, providing advanced know-how and goods with high added value that the Africa market is looking for.

The zone aims to attract export-oriented manufacturing investment, added value and productivity improvements in the country.

China is Africa's largest single investor, aid donor and trade partner. Standard Bank of South Africa predicts that Chinese investment in Africa will reach $50 billion by 2015.

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