Facilitating services to Chinese investors through dedicated Chinese desks in Investment Promotion Agencies (IPAs)

2 January 2019
ITC News

02 Jan. 2019

PIGA is supporting the IPAs in Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozambique and Zambia’s Chinese desks by providing Chinese-speaking professionals to facilitate communication and services to Chinese investors jojntly with IPAs .

“Most of our current and potential Chinese investors are not English conversant. The Chinese-speaking professional has immensely assisted KenInvest in interacting with the Chinese investors, by boosting effective interaction with the Chinese investors to understand the challenges they are experiencing, their needs, as well as maintaining regular communication with Chinese companies and institutions to promote business”, said Dr.Ikiara, Managing Director, Kenya investment Authority (KenIvest).

The inquires and visits of Chinese investors to IPAs are surging, which creates a need for setting-up desks dedicated to serve potential and existing Chinese investors in their own language. "60% of our clientele are Chinese investors, and most of our visitors are walk-in. “Having a native Chinese desk officer immensely helps our work”, explained Aschalew Tadesse, Director of Investment Promotion Directorate at the Ethiopian Investment Commission (EIC).

From September 2018, four Chinese-speaking experts joined the IPAs to provide support in servicing the Chinese investors in their own language. At the EIC, the dedicated team attending the Chinese investors have welcomed their first Chinese colleague, Yixin Yu, to assist them in liaising with Chinese investors and facilitating the exchange of information and collaboration with relevant stakeholders in Ethiopia and China.

The Agência para a Promoção de Investimento e Exportações (APIEX) welcomed a Chinese speaking Mozambican, Nilton Zandamela, to provide support in establishing relationships with Chinese companies and institutions operated in the country. In Zambia, a Chinese professional, Yang Ben, joined the Zambian Development Agency (ZDA) and contributed to the organization in the PIGA investment promotion side event, during the World Export Development Forum (WEDF) in Zambia attended by more than 120 participants, including local and visiting Chinese investors.

As part of the value added to the institutions’ services, the Chinese-speaking experts are providing support to attract Chinese investment to the countries. Recently, the Kenyan Chinese speaking professional, Isaac Karani,  accompanied KenInvest officials to the PIGA Road-Show at the Guangzhou Fair (the biggest trade fair in China), in Keqiao (the biggest textile production base in the world), and the China International Import Exposition (CIIE), to facilitate bilateral investment discussions and networking with the participating 170 Chinese enterprises.

These are only a few examples of the support of the Chinese desks to IPAs and to foreign and local investors interested in expanding or bringing new investments in the four African countries, with a view to boost economic ties and create jobs in Africa.