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Don’t romanticize China: Mutambara warns Africa

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Johannesburg, April 18, 2013- Zimbabwe’s Deputy Premier Professor Mutambara has warned Africa against holding a view of China as entirely a friend saying China was in Africa for economic reasons.

“There must not be a romantic view of China”, Mutambara told delegates at the China-Africa summit held in Sandton- Johannesburg.

Zimbabwe’s deputy Prime Minister also said African government needed to give certainty to possible investors if they are to attract the much needed Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).

“Part of our role as government is to ensure certainty for investors”, said Mutambara.

African communities in the past few years have also raised concerns over Chinese companies’ importation of foreign labour as it was much cheaper to employ a Chinese than locals due to labour laws guarantees.

“Don’t bring labour from China”, added Mutambara making comments directed to Chinese companies doing business in Africa.

However, Mutambara said there was need for Africa to change perception regarding relations with China from the past as China was now the second biggest economy in the world.

“China is no longer in the solidarity of the poor with Africa. It is now the second biggest economy in the world”, remarked the Zimbabwean academic cum politician.

Michael Solomon the Executive Director at J and J group addressing the summit said Chinese investors needed also to consider aspects of resource nationalism which has become a global phenomenon.

African countries in the recent past have been calling for greater beneficiation and value addition of their resources within their communities.

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