Africa urges transparency to attract investment

08:51, April 15, 2010      

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Eastern and Southern Africa is open for "substantial investment and accelerated trade," a senior scholar said Wednesday.

Professor Welshman Ncube, chairman of Common Market for Eastern and Southern African States (COMESA) Council of Ministers, said at the third COMESA Investment Forum drew, which closed Wednesday in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.

The forum, spearheaded by COMESA Regional Investment Agency (RIA), aims to connect Africa to the world via trade and investment.

"We are delighted with the outcome of these two days. We have had a very strong and high-level participation from Asia and the Gulf, as well as European and American companies," said Omar Ben Yedder, an organizer of the event.

However, as noted by Nassif Sawiris, Chairman and CEO of Orascom Development, more transparency in contract enforcement was needed to reassure investors of the security of their ventures.

China has a large investment presence in Africa. According to Egypt's General Authority for Investment, there are 1,038 Chinese companies investing and operating in Egypt, representing a total investment of $311.3 million and ranking 25th among all foreign investors in Egypt.

The trade volume between China and Egypt has risen from $635.9 million in 1999 to over $5.8 billion in 2009. Also, Egypt's exports to China have grown significantly, up from $15.3 million to $989.3 million during the same period.

Source: Global Times


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