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Overseas Chinese entrepreneurs help boost China-Africa development

Updated: Sep 5,2018 3:38 PM     People’s Daily Online

Looking back at the multi-level interactions between China and Africa since the 2000s, overseas Chinese entrepreneurs have played a significant role in China-African cooperation and they are also witness to the China-Africa friendship, experts agreed at a seminar on Sept 4.

Overseas Chinese entrepreneurs are becoming one of the world’s most influential political and economic powers for globalization and China’s development, especially in Africa, according to a report on the development of overseas Chinese entrepreneurs that was released at a seminar held by the Center for China and Globalization (CCG) in Beijing on Sept 4.

Overseas Chinese entrepreneurs are a group of entrepreneurs who are of Chinese origin and are active in the field of economics. Rooted in Chinese culture and familiar with the international environment, they are world-class talents capable of thinking from the perspectives of both China and other countries.

By 2016, with a total of 3,254 overseas Chinese enterprises established in Africa, investment in Africa had surpassed $40 billion. The overseas Chinese-invested enterprises are mainly located in Zambia, Nigeria, Ethiopia, South Africa, Tanzania, Ghana, Angola, and Uganda.

The economic interactions between the two regions have surged since the 2000s, when an increasing number of Chinese enterprises entered into the African continent. Chinese medical and agricultural professionals built up communication channels for Chinese and Africans. Further, Chinese-invested manufacturing enterprises quickly launched in African countries

In Ethiopia, the largest footwear manufacturer, Huajian Group, has invested a total of $200 million in a complete industrial chain, which successfully creates thousands of jobs for locals.

Jushi Group, a Chinese fiberglass producer that launched a production line in Egypt with the support of the Egyptian government, has already helped Egypt leap forward as the world’s third largest fiberglass producer.

Such companies continuously bring in qualified and advanced products to Africa, as well as Chinese concepts and experience that benefit economic development. The turning point came when Africa’s new round of urbanization focused on industrial upgrading, experts noted.

“Economic cooperation between China and African countries outshines others as one of the best performers on the world stage in the last five years,” noted Yang Baorong, a researcher of Institute of West-Asian and African Studies under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

Some overseas Chinese entrepreneurs also established kindergartens and schools for African young people. Africa’s younger generation makes the ancient continent’s future development more promising. The cooperation between China’s and Africa’s younger generation is paving a promising way for future prosperity.

“China and Africa both stand on the crossroad of development where challenges and opportunities collide. It is time for China and Africa to rethink industrial upgrading and business localization under the trend of globalization. Through overseas Chinese entrepreneurs, China can know better our African friends and market,” said Wang Huiyao, chief editor of the report and chairman of CCG.