African countries seek business in central China

Updated: 2007-07-05 15:23

WUHAN -- Industry and commerce delegates from 21 African countries have forged cooperation agreements with Chinese enterprises in construction, mine development and other sectors during a promotion fair in central China.

The delegates, including 49 high-ranking trade officials and business people, brought more than 100 investment projects in infrastructure, mine development, machinery and agriculture to the three-day fair in Wuhan, capital of Hubei Province in central China.

The fair attracted around 500 Chinese companies.

Algeria, in north Africa, planned to seek investment partners in a number of government projects in housing, expressways, railways and dams. The projects involved a total investment of 100 billion US dollars.

The industry and commerce chambers of seven African countries also signed a two-year cooperation agreement on Wednesday with the Wuhan Branch of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade to enhance exchanges between African and Chinese enterprises.

Mohamed El Mamy, secretary-general of the Mauritania Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said, "The exchange projects between us and Chinese trade officials will build a bridge for the communications of enterprises of the two sides."

A representative with Quanzhou Wanlong Building Materials Development Co. Ltd, based in east China's Fujian Province, said his company had decided to cooperate with Mali, in western Africa, in paper box production.

African delegates also expressed a willingness to cooperate with Chinese automobile and cable production companies.

Investment from China to Africa is expected to reach 2 billion US dollars in 2007, said Donald Kaberuka, president of the African Development Bank.

Official figures from China show Chinese investment in Africa totaled 11.7 billion US dollars by the end of 2006.

Last month, Chinese government launched a fund of 1 billion US dollars to finance trade and investment by Chinese companies in Africa, in a fresh effort to facilitate Sino-African business relations.

Trade volume between the two sides hit 55.5 billion US dollars last year, maintaining an annual growth rate of more than 30 percent in the past five years.

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