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Solar dealers eye Africa after EU boycott

By Zhao Qian (Global Times)

14:13, November 24, 2012

Workers install solar photovoltaic components in Minqin county, northwestern China's Gansu province on Nov. 19. (Xinhua/Liang Qiang)

China's solar panel firms, struggling under the US and Europe's latest anti-dumping measures, have begun to look for business opportunities in the African market, though many remain cautious about economic and political uncertainties on a continent that boasts abundant sunshine and strong demand for electricity.

Leaders from around 20 domestic major solar companies, officials from 16 African embassies in China, and some experts from the solar energy sector gathered together in Beijing Thursday to talk about investment opportunities in Africa.

The African countries welcome Chinese solar firms' investment, and will provide supportive policies, ambassadors said at the summit.

"We have released policies subsidizing the usage of new energy," Gogu Alfred A. Saame, Ghana's ambassador to China said.

However, Chinese businessmen are cautious about making any real investment plans, as many admit they are not familiar with Africa but have been forced to consider alternative markets after the US and the EU authorities took action to keep Chinese solar panels from dominating their markets.

"We came here for opportunities, but still have not fixed our plans, it's not easy," Yang Jun, president and chairman of Jiangsu Geolite PV and Beijing Chiner New Energy Technology, told the Global Times at the Photovoltaic (PV) Summit 2012 Africa Thursday in Beijing.

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