Chinese private firms encouraged to invest in Africa

Updated: 2006-11-06 22:13

A package of measures on economic and trade cooperation, proposed by President Hu Jintao at the Sunday-concluded Beijing Summit of Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, offers Chinese private firms with unprecedented opportunities to invest in Africa.

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Zhao Jinping, deputy director of the foreign economy department under the State Council Development and Research Center, made the remarks Monday in an interview with Xinhua.

At the two-day landmark summit, Hu announced that China will double aid, provide 5 billion U.S. dollars of preferential loans and buyers' credits to Africa and establish a China-Africa development fund, which will certainly encourage private firms with capacity to invest in Africa, Zhao said.

Suo Zhanrong, president of the Huifeng group in north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, said the governmental support injects new energy into private firms, noting he was confident of prospects of Chinese medicines in African market, as his group planned to increase Chinese medicine export to African countries.

Sheng Jushan, general manager of the Guoji Group in central China's Henan Province, said his company has just set up an economic cooperation zone in Sierra Leone, which attracts about 20 Chinese small and medium-sized enterprises.

China's Huawei Company, whose sales volume in sub-Sahara African countries exceeded one billion dollars, has become the largest CDMA product provider in the region, and submitted tax of 40 million dollars to African countries.

The Chunnan Group in eastern Jiangsu Province exports about 100,000 air-conditioners, washing machines and electric bikes to Africa annually.

Wang Jianping, president of the Hashan Company in eastern Zhejiang Province, told Xinhua that after the summit, he decided to increase investment in Nigeria from two million dollars to six million dollars so as to boost the development of local shoemaking industry.

According to figures from the import and export bank of China, among the 800 Chinese enterprises that invest in Africa, only about 100 are state-owned enterprises and the remaining are privately-owned.

Chinese Ministry of Commerce, National Development and Reform Commission, Ministry of Finance and National Development Bank are working on new policies and detailed measures to facilitate China's investment in Africa, according to sources.

China's private companies will play a larger role in expanding investment in Africa, said Wang Licheng, vice president of the chamber of commerce on Sino-African trade.

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