Chinese firms told to invest more in Africa

10:54, May 29, 2010      

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Chinese companies have been told to shift their investment focus from infrastructure and energy resources to Africa's agricultural and manufacturing sectors.

"Chinese companies can explore more opportunities in sectors like agriculture and manufacturing, apart from the current focus on infrastructure and energy resources," Saturday's China Daily quoted Lu Shaye, director-general of the African affairs department with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as saying.

Lu made the statement at a China-Africa forum held in Beijing Friday.

He said that Africa's investment environment has greatly improved in recent years, and many nations have introduced preferential policies including lower tax rates to attract foreign capital.

Wei Jianguo, former vice-minister of commerce, echoed Lu's view, saying "Now is the best time for Chinese firms to invest in the continent as Africa needs to upgrade its economic structure."

Shifting investment focus could also benefit Chinese companies given the stiff competition from Western countries in investment for energy resources, the newspaper quoted Liang Guining, deputy director of the research center for foreign investment under the Ministry of Commerce as saying.

"Chinese firms could shift their focus more to sectors like agricultural developments that are much easier to operate and more in line with African countries' needs," Liang said.

Source: Xinhua


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