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China, Africa Business Tycoons Meet in Hangzhou

September 10, 2018

By Joseph S. Margai in Hangzhou

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President Macky Sall of Senegal making his keynote address during the summit

Chinese and African business tycoons, had on Thursday, 6th September, 2018, met in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, People’s Republic of China, to discuss business opportunities under the China-Africa Private Sector Cooperation (CAPSC).

The CAPSC summit, which was organised by Hangzhou Municipal People’s Government, Zhejiang Federation of Industry and Commerce, among others, was hosted by the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce and Zhejiang Provincial People’s Government.

Themed: “Deepening Cooperation of China-Africa Private Sector”, the summit, which was one of the 14 sessions of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), aims to promote China-Africa business exchanges on a friendly footing along with higher-level, higher-quality business cooperation, creating a win-win situation and a closer-knit community of a shared future.

In his keynote address during the opening ceremony, President of the Republic of Senegal, Macky Sall, urged Chinese companies to start processing Africa’s natural resources into finished products in the African continent.

President Sall said China should play a better role in adding value to Africa’s raw materials by processing them in the continent.

“We need the Chinese experiences, knowledge and skills in Africa in order to enhance development. We need the transfer of relevant technology that will be beneficial to us. Private Chinese enterprises are welcome to invest in Africa at all times,” he said.

He noted that FOCAC summit has a history of 18 years now and since its reception, we have realized many achievements, adding that these achievements have helped to transform lives in both Africa and China.

President Sall, whose country is going to host the next FOCAC summit, said under FOCAC, lots of cooperation projects between the two parties have been signed and implement in not only Africa’s economy but the social sector as well.

“In sub-Saharan Africa, there are over 3,000 infrastructure projects that have been completed or ongoing. 90 percent of the employees are local people and that has boosted the economy,” he noted, adding that it’s good to build railways, roads, etc., in order to boost transportation of people and goods.

He said FOCAC has helped greatly to boost Africa’s development agenda, noting that Africa and China are committed to shared future while urging the facilitation of investment and cooperation in the private sector.

Yuan Jiajun, Deputy Secretary of Zhejiang Provincial Party Committee and Governor of Zhejiang Province, said there are over 500 Chinese enterprises from Zhejiang Province that are investing in Africa.

“The 500 Chinese enterprises had already invested 3.1 billion United States Dollars (US$3.1bn). The trade volume between Zhejiang and Africa has reached 25.7 billion United States Dollars (US$25.7bn).  77 percent of products manufactured in this province are exported to African countries,” he said.

Zhejiang province, which is situated in the south-eastern part of China and has a population of 56 million, was, according to the governor, ranked fourth among other provinces in terms of gross domestic product (GDP).

“China and Africa will cooperate in the manufacturing industry and China has been constructing industrial parks in some African countries,” he noted.

He said they had heavily invested in digital economy and noted that Alibaba and Alipay, under the e-commerce, can be used in many countries in the world.

“Last year, digital economy contributed three billion Chinese Yuan to Zhejiang’s economy,” he said, while encouraging Zhejiang entrepreneurs to go and invest in Africa.

Gao Yunlong, Vice Chairman of National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference and Chairman, All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce, said CAPSC has been personally endorsed by Chinese President Xi Jinping.

He said the CAPSC summit will advance China-Africa economic and trade relations, noting that there are over 9,000 Chinese companies in Africa that had invested a whopping sum of 20 billion United States Dollars (US$20bn).

“To grow the economy and improve lives is the dream of Chinese and Africa people is the dream of the shared future for mankind put forward by President Xi Jinping. African leaders are making efforts to grow the economy and we are playing a complementary role in many efforts,” he said.

He said China and Africa need a fair and open global market to enhance this cooperation.

Gao Yunlong said trade protectionism is on the increase and that is creating serious problems for developing countries.

He noted that Chinese companies in Africa are selling mobile phones, internet connectivity, telecommunications, among others, adding that Star Times, is also very popular in Africa and its providing DSTV services to many African homes.

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Business tycoons from China and Africa on a panel discussion during the summit in Hangzhou