We pay £16m to pro­mote African trade with China

The Mail on Sunday - - News -

THE De­part­ment for In­ter­na­tional De­vel­op­ment has al­lo­cated nearly £16.5 mil­lion of for­eign aid to help en­cour­age Chi­nese in­vest­ments in Africa – while stick­ing by rules that stop the pro­mo­tion of Bri­tish busi­ness.

The ini­tia­tive, called Part­ner­ship For In­vest­ment And Growth In Africa (PIGA), has been given a ring­ing en­dorse­ment by Chi­nese pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping, who said: ‘This will pro­vide more op­por­tu­ni­ties for China-UK co-op­er­a­tion.’

PIGA is part of In­vest Africa, which will re­ceive annual in­stal­ments of up to £5 mil­lion be­tween now and 2021. But while the Chi­nese can cash in, DFID’s own guide­lines clearly state it is not able to use staff time or fi­nan­cial re­sources to pro­mote UK com­mer­cial in­ter­ests.

Last night a DFID spokesman said: ‘In­vest Africa sup­ports for­eign in­vest­ment into sec­tors such as man­u­fac­tur­ing, which means the UK is help­ing to cre­ate much-needed jobs in Africa.

‘No coun­try can de­feat poverty and leave aid de­pen­dency be­hind with­out sus­tain­able eco­nomic growth, jobs, trade and in­vest­ment.’

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