‘Emerg­ing Africa’ has strong part­ner

China Daily (Canada) - - XI’S VISIT - By LI LIANXING lil­ianx­ing@chi­nadaily.com.cn

South Africa sees the meet­ing of Chi­nese and African lead­ers on Fri­day and Satur­day as a chance to fur­ther consolidate re­la­tions through South-South co­op­er­a­tion, fo­cus­ing on in­dus­tri­al­iza­tion and re­gional eco­nomic in­te­gra­tion, ac­cord­ing to a se­nior diplo­mat.

The Fo­rum on China-Africa Co­op­er­a­tion Sum­mit is be­ing held in Johannesburg un­der the theme “Africa-China Pro­gress­ing To­gether: Win-Win Co­op­er­a­tion for Com­mon De­vel­op­ment”.

The sum­mit, which comes as the fo­rum marks its 15th an­niver­sary, is the first held on African soil.

“China is seen as a key part­ner in the new and emerg­ing Africa,” Dolana Msi­mang, the South African am­bas­sador to China, said in an ex­clu­sive in­ter­view with China Daily.

She was con­fi­dent of ma­jor break­throughs be­ing made at the sum­mit. “There is con­sid­er­able room for rapid growth in co­op­er­a­tion. It’s im­por­tant that we con­tin­u­ously as­sess and re­view the op­por­tu­ni­ties and chal­lenges. Africa is on the move, and it is ready to do busi­ness. The con­ti­nent of­fers re­turns that are ex­tremely com­pelling.”

South Africa’s strate­gic po­si­tion and po­lit­i­cal in­flu­ence can drive re­gional in­te­gra­tion, such as de­vel­op­ing north-south rail and road links and ex­pand­ing ports and en­ergy ca­pac­ity and skills, she said.

“Africa can only ben­e­fit from the re­lo­ca­tion of la­bor­in­ten­sive in­dus­tries from China if it can re­solve the ba­sic fac­tors of de­vel­op­ing a man­u­fac­tur­ing base, which in turn im­plies fi­nan­cial cap­i­tal, en­tre­pre­neur­ial skills and links with mar­kets where global buy­ers can be met.

“The in­dus­tri­al­iza­tion ef­fort on the con­ti­nent is de­pen­dent on African coun­tries’ abil­ity to at­tract for­eign direct in­vest­ment. China is

China is strate­gi­cally po­si­tioned to co­op­er­ate with Africa to re­al­ize its dreams.”

strate­gi­cally po­si­tioned to co­op­er­ate with Africa to re­al­ize its dreams in this re­gard.”

Msi­mang said African na­tions must show ini­tia­tive to en­sure a win-win re­la­tion­ship, while gov­ern­ments need to lever­age Chi­nese in­vest­ment for lo­cal de­vel­op­ment and should en­cour­age in­volve­ment by lo­cal en­trepreneurs in Chi­nese ven­tures.

Africa is the next fron­tier in terms of de­vel­op­ment, and part­ner­ing with China will yield more real re­sults if in­vest­ments cre­ate em­ploy­ment in a so­cially and en­vi­ron­men­tally sus­tain­able way, she said.

“In­deed, the op­por­tu­ni­ties for achiev­ing tan­gi­ble re­sults within theFOCACare plenty, in par­tic­u­lar as Africa is po­si­tioned to im­prove its in­fra­struc­ture ... and be­come part of the emerg­ing global drive to­ward sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment. The FOCAC agenda speaks to the vi­sion of a pros­per­ous, united and peace­ful Africa, as cap­tured in the African Union’s Agenda 2063.”

The China-South Africa re­la­tion­ship is a good ex­am­ple of a win-win sit­u­a­tion, since, de­spite the eco­nomic slow­down in China, South African en­ter­prises still view the coun­try as a mar­ket with enor­mous po­ten­tial, the am­bas­sador said.

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