Un­lock­ing Po­ten­tial

China’s on­go­ing com­mit­ment to africa at the focac bei­jing Sum­mit en­cour­ages busi­nesses tak­ing part in the belt and road ini­tia­tive on the con­ti­nent

ChinAfrica - - PROS AND CONS - By Ge Li­jun & François Dubé

only with deep roots can a tree yield rich fruit. These words res­onate strongly with Sun Pishu. They are an ac­cu­rate de­scrip­tion of how his com­pany has adapted and evolved in Africa through­out the years de­spite the ob­sta­cles and chal­lenges. Its roots grow deeper with ev­ery project.

“Chi­nese en­ter­prises should not sim­ply in­vest in and trade with Africa. They should use their strong sense of so­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity and mis­sion to pro­mote the con­ti­nent’s de­vel­op­ment and share China’s best tech­nol­ogy, ideas and ex­pe­ri­ence,” Sun said.

As the CEO of In­spur Group, one of China’s lead­ing IT com­pa­nies, Sun has learnt first­hand how crit­i­cal it is for Chi­nese busi­nesses to pay close at­ten­tion to lo­cal African needs in or­der to take root and bear fruit on the con­ti­nent.

It should come as no sur­prise, there­fore, that Chi­nese Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping used the very same anal­ogy in his key­note speech at the open­ing cer­e­mony of the 2018 Bei­jing Sum­mit of the Fo­rum on China-africa Co­op­er­a­tion (FOCAC) on Septem­ber 3.

Xi pointed out that part­ner­ships be­tween Chi­nese and African busi­nesses have been suc­cess­ful in ad­dress­ing the lack of in­fras­truc­ture and other is­sues that con­strain Africa’s de­vel­op­ment.

Great progress has been made on the con­ti­nent in the ar­eas of in­dus­tri­al­iza­tion and mod­ern­iza­tion, in­fras­truc­ture con­struc­tion, trade and in­vest­ment fa­cil­i­ta­tion, ca­pac­ity build­ing and poverty al­le­vi­a­tion, he said.

Much to the de­light of the par­tic­i­pat­ing lead­ers - who hailed from 53 African coun­tries, in ad­di­tion to a del­e­ga­tion from the African Union (AU) Com­mis­sion - Xi promised that China’s sup­port would con­tinue over the next three years, pledg­ing a fur­ther $60 bil­lion in fi­nanc­ing to Africa.

Xi de­scribed Africa as a his­tor­i­cal and nat­u­ral ex­ten­sion of the an­cient Silk Road, and as an im­por­tant par­tic­i­pant in the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive. Look­ing for­ward, he

Sun Pishu in­tro­duces In­spur’s server at his com­pany’s head­quar­ters in Ji­nan, east China’s Shan­dong Prov­ince on No­vem­ber 30, 2013

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