Private enterprises urged to boost cooperation with African peers

Updated: Sep 14, 2018 By Ma Zhenhuan China Daily Print
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Rwandan workers make clothing at C&H, a Chinese garment factory in Kigali, the capital.  [Photo/Xinhua]

Private entrepreneurs in China should step up cooperation efforts with their African counterparts to be an active part of the global value chain so as to generate long-term win-win sustainable development, said a top official.

Gao Yunlong, vice-chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference and chairman of the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce, said Chinese-invested industrial zones in Africa serve as an effective method in enhancing business cooperation between the two sides and said more efforts are necessary from all sides for the construction and development of such zones.

Gao made the remarks at the China-Africa Private Sector Cooperation Summit held at the Hangzhou International Expo Center on Thursday.

The event, co-hosted by the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce and the Zhejiang provincial government, is a platform for collective dialogue for pragmatic cooperation of private businesses between China and Africa. It attracted over 300 delegates from governments, private enterprises and research institutes.

Thursday's forum witnessed the signing of nine deals between Chinese and African businesses.

For example, a memorandum of understanding was signed between Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, Ethiopian Airlines and Shanghai-based Megacap Aviation Service Group.

Deals were also signed for a Chinese-invested stone production and processing plant in Namibia and a cashmere factory in Madagascar by Inner Mongolia-based King Deer Cashmere Co Ltd.

The forum also released the first list of economic and trade cooperation zones invested by the Chinese private sector in Africa.

Macky Sall, president of Senegal, said private sector investment in Senegal had contributed to the country's economic vigor, promoting economic exchanges and creating more local jobs.

He vowed to further simplify investment procedures for the private sector in China and encouraged Chinese firms in the basic infrastructure sector to actively manage their investment projects in Africa.

Jack Ma, co-founder and executive chairman at Alibaba Group, said it is his firm belief that entrepreneurship could lead Africa toward a brighter future.

"Many businessmen would complain that Africa is lacking in commercial infrastructure and banking outlets. On the contrary, I think this provides a golden opportunity for Chinese investors," he said.

According to data from Ministry of Commerce, privately-owned Chinese companies are making more than 150 investments a year in the manufacturing sector in Africa, up from only two in 2000.

A recent report by McKinsey & Co says more than 10,000 Chinese companies are operating on the continent, with 44 percent of the 1,073 Chinese companies interviewed in eight African countries making capital-intensive investments.


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