China plays huge role in promoting Africa's industrialization: diplomat

Source:Xinhua Published: 2013-4-18 9:45:28

The Chinese government and companies are playing a critical role in promoting job creation and industrialization in African countries, a top Chinese diplomat told Xinhua on Wednesday.

Speaking on the sidelines of China-Africa Business Summit in Johannesburg, Economic and Commercial Counsellor of the Chinese Embassy in South Africa, Rong Yansong said claims that China's purchase of raw material from Africa is identical of colonization are "ridiculous."

He made the remarks in response to some criticism that China brings too much Chinese labor force and Chinese?Cmade products to Africa, saying "the truth is that both the Chinese government and companies are doing their best to promote local employment and industrialization."

Rong said local staff constitute 85 percent of total workers in Chinese companies operating in Africa, and cited the ratio between local staff and Chinese staff in Chinese companies in Zambia which stands at 13:1.

"We also find that the longer Chinese companies operate in Africa the higher percentage of local staff they have in total employment portfolio," he said.

"For instance, in 68 Chinese companies doing business in DRC (Democratic Republic of Congo), Chinese staff account for one third in their 5 years of operations, while those that operate for more than 5 years hire local staff who account for more than 80 percent," Rong said.

The diplomat said that in bilateral trade, China does not force African countries to buy or sell as the Western countries did 100 years ago. "On the contrary we always trade on the basis of equality and mutual benefits," he said.

China's products only substitute those imported to Africa from other continent rather than replacing local products, he said.

Africa countries have abundant natural resources and Africa people are eager to turn this natural advantage to development advantage, he said, adding in this regard China offers a big opportunity to Africa.

However natural resources are by no means the only focus of China in Africa, he noted. "China uses its foreign aid to build roads, railways, bridges, schools and hospitals in Africa and apparently those projects have nothing to do with the pursuit of natural resources," he said.

According to Rong, China's oil import from Africa only accounts for 17 percent of Africa's total oil export. China's investment is less than one sixteenth of the total foreign investment in Africa's oil industry, far less than Europe and America.

"China and Africa are friends and partners," he stressed. "It's beyond any doubt that as long as China and Africa can walk hand in hand, we are able to create a brighter future for all," he said.

The summit, organized by the South AfricanFrontier Advisory (FA) , is aimed at promoting China-Africa economic bilateral arrangements. It was attended by several government officials from Africa as well as representatives from Chinese and African businesses.

Posted in: Diplomacy

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