Event: Promoting China-Africa industrial chain cooperation

7 October 2021
ITC News

The China-Africa industry chain cooperation should focus on the three “s”: Sustainability, Specificity and Social Responsibility.

This is the outcome of the Forum on "China Africa Industry Chain Cooperation", held in Changsha, China, on 27 September 2021. As one of the sub-forums of the second China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo (CAETE), the forum was jointly organized by the Ministry of Commerce of China, the Hunan Province of China, the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT), the International Trade Centre (ITC) and the China-Africa Development Fund (CADFund). More than 200 business representatives, academics and government officials joined the forum, involving governments, think tanks and enterprises.

Make Africa achieve the Africa they want

"Over the past 40 years, China has seized the valuable opportunities of globalization and international division of production. Now, it is Africa's turn. Global communities should work together to make Africa achieve the Africa they want," emphasized Dorothy Tembo, Deputy Executive Director at the International Trade Centre, in her opening remarks.

Béata Habyarimana, the Minister of Trade and Industry in Rwanda, pointed out that Rwanda looked forward to Chinese investment in line with its 2021 investment code. Its priority areas include information and communication technology, pharmaceutical, manufacturing, energy, and export-oriented industries.

Lelise Neme, Commissioner at the Ethiopian Investment Commission added: "Seventy percent of the investment goes to manufacturing, which makes Ethiopia special, as the foreign direct investment received by other African countries tends to be concentrated in the mining sector. This difference also owes to Chinese investors. They support Ethiopia's strategic vision to diversify its manufacturing layout and promote value-added export."

Favorable to sustainable development

As recently pointed out by UN Secretary General, international investment flows are critical to sustainable development in the poorer regions and increasing investment to support a sustainable and inclusive recovery from the pandemic is now a global policy priority. ITC Deputy Executive Director Tempo reminded the audience of these words and added, “I, as an international staff from Zambia, believe it is more relevant to the African continent.”

At the same time, Ke Liangdong, Vice Chairman of CCPIT, stressed: "To achieve sustainable development, China and Africa should continue strengthening strategic docking and institutional innovation in emerging areas."

Song Lei, Chairman of CADFund, observed that restructuring the global industrial chain catalyzed by the pandemic would bring great opportunities to Africa. "We need to encourage Changing Made in China to Jointly Made in China-Africa," he said.

Fully respect African specificity

“There is no one-size-fits-all development model. African countries have to determine the proper development path according to their specific conditions,” emphasized Xu Jinghu, Special Representative for African Affairs of China. “The cooperation should be in favor of African countries moving to the high-end of the industrial chain," she said.

Encourage Cooperate Social Responsibility

Promoting corporate social responsibility would help to achieve joint development for the local community and the company.
Former Chinese Ambassador to Zambia and Uganda, Li Qiangmin said, "Chinese investors should abide by the laws and regulations of African countries, respect its culture, and correctly deal with the concept of righteousness and profit. Companies should bear the corresponding social responsibility."

Former Deputy Director-General of the World Trade Organization, Yi Xiaozhun encouraged Chinese investors to take advantage of their capital, technology and management experience in digital infrastructure construction to help Africa accelerate the digitalization process.

"A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step," concluded Ashish Shah, Director of the Division of Country Programmes at the International Trade Centre, using a Chinese proverb to encourage all parties to join hands and work together to support Africa's journey in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

About the project

The ITC ‘Trade Promotion between China and other Developing Countries along the Belt and Road Initiative’ uses the China International Import Expo and the China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo to promote trade, investment and business partnerships between China and other developing countries along the Belt and Road Initiative.

ITC supported 17 small businesses from seven African countries (Ethiopia, Gambia, Kenya, Mozambique, Senegal, Uganda and Zambia) to exhibit in the China Africa Economic and Trade Expo from 26 to 29 September 2021.