Building capacity to help Africa trade better

Investors conquer difficulties in African market


Investors conquer difficulties in African market

Chinese investors are conquering more difficulties in the diversified and competitive African market, as the continent paves the way for many Chinese companies’ to go global.

“Chinese companies are investing in large size in the African market and the investment cycle is always long. It is difficult for them to gain capital support and they are in need of better services in credit and insurance,” said Zhang Wei, vice-chairman of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade.

Zhang was speaking at the 2014 China-Africa Financial Investment Forum on Tuesday in Beijing.

Zhang said more than 2,000 Chinese companies are investing in Africa in sectors such as agriculture, infrastructure, finance, logistics and construction.

However, these investors still lack knowledge about the local investment environment and the culture.

“The market is becoming more competitive as investors from Europe and the United States are trying to capture a market share in recent years,” said Stephen Priestley, co-head of Africa wholesale banking at Standard Chartered Bank, which has been operating in Africa for more than 150 years.

“It is always difficult for companies to get money. This often deters a lot of investors,” he added.

Priestley suggested Chinese companies further collaborate and innovate their business activities, and also consider different situations in different countries.

Priestley said the rise of the middle class in Africa is generating more consumers for retail.

In addition, to support urbanization in Africa, there is huge potential in the fixed-asset sector, including airports, roads and railways.

In the first 10 months of 2013, China’s direct investment in African non-financial sectors surged 71.6 percent year-on-year to $2.54 billion, according to the Ministry of Commerce.


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