China pledges $50bn to industrialise South Africa and Africa

“The pledge was announced during a courtesy visit by the Vice Minister of Commerce of China, Mr Zhang Xiangchen to the Director-General of the Department of Trade and Industry, (the DTI), Mr Lionel October in Pretoria,” South Africa’s Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said on Tuesday.

The Chinese government was focusing on initiatives that would “further promote industrialisation and development of the African continent as a whole,” Xiangchen said.

October said he welcomed the pledge, and praised China for its efforts in continuously supporting the African cause.

He said that China remained an “inspiration” for many developing countries, especially Africa. Speaking about the upcoming Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) which would be hosted in Johannesburg from December 4 to 5, October said that such forums “can bring about progress on industrialisation”.

He added that after the first FOCAC in Beijing in October 2000, “China cancelled RMB10.9-billion of debts for 31 heavily indebted poor countries or least developed countries in Africa”.

Noting the opportunities in Africa, Xiangchen said: “China-Africa industrialisation partnerships will be at the forefront of any development in the continent followed by agricultural activities. China will also increase investments in Africa especially in the Special Economic Zones and provide training in those sectors.”

The Chinese government would also provide 50 technical experts who are experienced in “building and upgrading of industrial parks, building of new power plants, 40 000 training opportunities in different sectors”.

In addition, 200 000 industrial managers would be deployed to “train and develop local industrial managers”. – ANA

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