China-Africa investment partnership "incredibly beneficial": expert

20:00, May 04, 2010      

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The investment partnership with China in Africa's major infrastructure projects is incredibly beneficial for the continent's development, Katherine Tweedie, director of Africa Regional Agenda Team of World Economic Forum, told Xinhua in an interview ahead of the 20th World Economic Forum on Africa.

Africa's relationship with China has been a "very positive" one, in view of China's investment and support for Africa's critical infrastructures, Tweedie said, adding that China has been a very important trading partner with Africa.

Tweedie noted the purchasing deal between the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) and South Africa-based Standard Bank in 2008, where the ICBC bought 20 percent stake of the Standard Bank for 5.6 billion U. S. dollars.

After the acquisition, the ICBC has launched a series of cooperative projects with the Standard Bank, including major infrastructure projects.

"I think this type of partnership is being incredibly beneficial for development on the continent," Tweedie said.

According to Tweedie, African nations could benefit substantially from learning from the success of China, particularly in its development policies. And China can support Africa by helping promote the continent's tertiary development of goods and services.

Right now, most of Africa's exports are raw materials, with little added value, Tweedie said, noting that transfer of knowledge and skills from China to African workers and professionals to help promote processing of resources would be very positive for the Africa's development.

Noting that Africa has a variety of valuable resources, Tweedie said the continent should transcend from being just a supplier of raw resources. Instead, it should seek improvement in tertiary development and produce its own goods to strengthen competitiveness, she said.

The 20th World Economic Forum on Africa is scheduled to be held on May 5-7 in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The summit will gather African and global leaders to discuss the continent's development agenda. Participants will exchange ideas on Africa's growth strategy, African nations' relations with key economic partners, infrastructure development, improvement of business climate and regulatory reforms, new models of governance, peace and security, among others.

Source: Xinhua


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