China pledges $50bn for Africa’s industrialisation

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JOHANNESBURG – Despite its slowing economic growth, China will invest $50bn towards industrialisation projects in African countries.

Industrialisation is closely linked to infrastructure development and job creation.

Chinese commerce vice-minister Zhang Xiangchen recently paid a courtesy visit to Department of Trade and Industry director-general Lionel October.

“China will also increase investments in Africa, especially in the special economic zones, and provide training in those sectors,” Mr Xiangchen said.

“China-Africa industrialisation partnerships will be at the forefront of any development in the continent followed by agricultural activities. China will also increase investments in Africa especially in the Special Economic Zones and provide training in those sectors.”

The Chinese government would also provide 50 technical experts who are experienced in “building and upgrading of industrial parks, building of new power plants, 40 000 training opportunities in different sectors”.

In addition, 200 000 industrial managers would be deployed to “train and develop local industrial managers”.

Chinese economic growth slowed to a six-year low of 6.9% in the third quarter. Slow growth in China, a key export market for local commodities, has sparked concern that SA’s own economic growth will suffer.

Mr Xiangchen’s visit also focused on the upcoming Forum on China-Africa Co-operation (Focac) to be hosted in Johannesburg on December 4-5.

The world’s second-biggest economy would lend technical support for industrialisation projects in African countries such as the construction of new power plants, the vice-minister said.

Although the African continent remained underdeveloped, summits such as Focac could bring about progress in industrialisation, Mr October said. – APN

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