A representative listens to a speech at the 15th China International Fair for Investment and Trade, held in Fujian province to explore Chinese investment in Africa. (File Photo/Xinhua)
African countries always welcome international investment and trade fairs offer some of the best opportunities. The 15th China International Fair for Investment and Trade opened Wednesday in the city of Xiamen in southeastern China's Fujian province. Representatives from Africa countries met their Chinese counterparts and expressed their hope to attract more Chinese investment in Africa.
A High-Level Symposium for China-Africa Investment and Cooperation was held Thursday as part of the fair, with African participants emphasizing that China has played an essential role in the development of the continent's economy.
"We look forward to Chinese enterprises' investments," Bernadette Artivor, executive director of the Namibia Investment Center said at the symposium, according to China Daily.
China began investing in Africa from the 1980s and has now become the continent's largest trade partner. By the end of 2010, China had invested around US$40 billion in more than 2,000 enterprises from 50 African countries and regions, covering agriculture, mining, manufacturing and finance.
"China's enterprises get more opportunities to expand their overseas business and promote their sales in a larger market," said Liu Yingjun, deputy director-general of the Department of Outward Investment and Economic Cooperation of the Ministry of Commerce.
"This will allow us to create a win-win environment," Li Li, vice president of the China International Water and Electric Corp, was quoted as saying by China Daily.
China's desire to seek long-term investments in Africa, which have also increased China's influence on the continent, have not been welcomes by all however. When US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton appeared on a television program in Zambia on June 11 this year, she described China's increased influence in Africa as the "new colonialism."
"I am fairly certain that trading with China is better than with western countries, since China knows how to develop an economy rapidly," Meyo Akoulouze Maryse, an officer with the Cameroon Investment Promotion Agency.
Andrea Goldstein, head of global relations at the Investment Division of Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development said after the symposium that other countries' anxieties about China's investment in Africa can be eased by open communication and dialogue.