Private companies in China increasingly interested in Africa

10 September 2018

China’s private companies have shown growing interest in expanding their businesses in Africa, Chinese state news agency Xinhua reported citing entrepreneurs attending a recent Sino-African economic meeting.

The China-Africa Private Sector Cooperation Summit, held last Thursday in Hangzhou, the capital of Zhejiang Province, was attended by more than 300 representatives of governments, private companies and research institutions from China and Africa.

Xinhua reported that Zhejiang is the base of many of China’s most successful private companies, including Alibaba and Netease, which accounted for almost two-thirds of the province’s gross domestic product in 2017.

“Cooperation between China and Africa presents an opportunity for entrepreneurs,” said Jack Ma, president of the Alibaba Group, who said the Internet and e-commerce were areas in which entrepreneurs can play an important role.

Wang Jianyi, chairman of the Hangzhou-based Futong group, predicted that about 150,000 kilometres of optic cables will be installed in Africa over the next 15 to 20 years, “a business worth hundreds of billions of dollars.”

Futong Group was one of the 500 largest private companies in China in 2017 and is the leader in cable and fiber optic supply in the country. It is already present in Africa, namely in Kenya, Nigeria, Seychelles and Angola.

Statistics from China’s Ministry of Commerce showed that trade between China and Africa reached US$170 billion by 2017, an annual increase of 14.1%.

In that year China sent products to Africa worth US$94.74 billion, an annual increase of 2.7%, with imports increasing 32.8% to US$75.26 billion. (macauhub)