Industrial cooperation to feature China-Africa ties

07 April 2015

China and Africa face “historic opportunities” as the Chinese market for basic industrial materials is saturated while less-developed African countries are crying out for them, Lin Songtian, head of the foreign ministry’s department of African affairs, has said.

Industrial production capacity cooperation refers to moving production lines from a country to another one or setting up factories, industrial parks with local partners, mainly employing local people.

In the past year, Chinese leaders have raised the concept when meeting with leaders of developing countries, saying China’s extra industrial capacity with low cost can meet the demand of countries in the middle of the industrialisation process.

“While we need to divert these products from the domestic market and expand the overseas market, African countries are eager to import them so as to speed up their industrialisation,” he said.

Lin responded to concerns about China’s motives, saying: “The cooperation will never be conducted at cost to the natural environment and long-term interests of Africa,” he said. “It is rather something mutually beneficial, and a real integration of China and Africa’s developmental demand.”

According to the diplomat who used to serve as China’s ambassador in Liberia and Malawi, an obstacle for investors is the weak infrastructure, including a fragile power generation sector and poor transport systems, in many African countries.

Lin said, this problem can be solved and many Chinese companies would be happy to give a hand in building those basic infrastructure.

China’s central government has vowed to help companies seeking to transfer their spare industrial capacity abroad by increasing financial support, cutting red tape, broadening funding channels and coming up with more favourable policies.


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