Global Biz

Chinese investors bring Africa boons

Updated: 2011-05-07 16:13
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CAPE TOWN, South Africa - China's investments in Africa have brought multiple benefits to the continent, providing better livelihood, more development opportunities and more choices for local people, according to a senior Chinese diplomat.

Liu Guijin, China's special envoy on African affairs, made the comments at the end of the three-day World Economic Forum on Africa which was opened here on Wednesday.

He told a seminar on prospects for Sino-African relations that China's investments cater to Africa's needs for a diversified economy.

The investments have increased rapidly and in a variety of forms, covering 49 countries of the continent and a wide range of areas including mining, finance, manufacturing, construction, agriculture, forestry, fishery and animal husbandry, he added.

China has been working to enhance Africa's self-development capabilities, he said, citing China's efforts to held Sudan develop a modern oil industry.

In Zambia, Mauritius, Nigeria, Egypt and Ethiopia, China has invested more than $250 million in economic and trade joint ventures, or local infrastructure, said the Chinese special envoy.

According to statistics released by Zambia, China's investments contributed to the creation of 15,000 job opportunities in the country in 2010. In Uganda, China became the biggest investor in the last fiscal year, creating more than 5,500 positions from 32 projects, Liu said.

Local people have witnessed much improved livelihood with China's investments in road building, housing, hospitals and schools, he told the seminar.

A great change in the pattern of investment in Africa is the soaring of capital inflow from developing countries, which have become more reliable investors than the developed world against the backdrop of global financial crisis, the Chinese diplomat said.

In Zambia, he said, Chinese mining enterprises expanded investment instead of reducing production or sacking employees despite the global crisis. The local government and media spoke highly of the operations by the Chinese firms, Liu said.

China's investments have drawn more and more attention in Africa and the world, giving rise to high enthusiasm in Western investors or those from developing countries about the economic and social development in the continent, he said, adding foreign investments are becoming the key resources for Africa's development.

The three-day meeting, held under the theme "From Vision to Action, Africa's Next Chapter," is gathering more than 900 participants from over 60 countries to discuss potentials and challenges of Africa's economic development in the post-crisis era.