South-South Trade: China Invests Over 1,400 Billion FCFA In Africa

The 2016 private investments helped in creating over 3,000 jobs.

China’s trade and commercial relations with Africa have been growing in leaps and bounds over the years. The government in 2015 committed to spend 60 Billion US Dollars (about 36,869 Billion FFCA) to help transform the continent in several sectors. The decision was announced at the China-Africa Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa, by President Xi Jinping.  

Following in the footsteps of the government, Chinese private businesses in 2016 invested 2.3 Billion US Dollars (about 1,413 Billion FCFA) in Africa, creating over 3,000 jobs. This disclosure was made by the Chinese Minister of Commerce, Zhong Shan, at a press conference on March 11, 2017, in the capital, Beijing. Shan noted the need for Chinese businesses in Africa to train more locals and also get more involved in social responsibility projects.

Concerning the poor quality of goods often imported into Africa, he said it all depends on importers. “Chinese manufacturers produce poor, medium and high quality goods and it is for each importer to choose what they want according to their means. However, deals reached between two private individuals are often difficult to monitor,” the Minister admitted. He stated the determination of Chinese companies in Africa to abide by environmental pollution laws.          

Shan also spoke of the challenges of monitoring the fast growing Chinese economy, saying over one million product counterfeiting cases and related infringements were noticed of late. More than 80,000 suspects were tried and found guilty, thereby significantly curtailing such crimes, he said. “In 2016, Chinese companies made over 1.3 Trillion US Dollars (about 798.1 Trillion FCFA) from investments abroad. However, some small Chinese companies without international experience made irrational decisions and lost their money. We will try to check this,” the Minister promised.

According to Zhong Shan, China has witnessed a complete turnaround in its international economic profile since 1978 when it opened up to the world. Its foreign trade grew from 70 Billion Yuan (about 6,227 Billion FCFA) in 1978 to 3 Trillion Yuan (about 266.8 Trillion FCFA) in 2016. China’s trade with other nations recently created 180 million jobs back home. Foreign trade grew by over 26 per cent in the first two months of 2017 as a result of reforms embarked on by the authorities, the Commerce Minister disclosed.

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