Johannesburg, April 10, 2013 – Zimbabwe Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara will next Wednesday be the keynote speaker at the China-Africa business summit to be held here.
The organisers, Dr Martyn Davies, CEO of Frontier Advisory, said the summit was organised because of the fact that China’s engagement was re-shaping Africa’s economic landscape.
Frontier Advisory is a research, strategy and investment advisory firm that assists clients to improve their competitiveness in emerging market economies.
“The speed at which Chinese firms are growing their businesses in Africa is proof of the positive environment of business for Chinese capital that Africa provides.”
China’s trade with Africa reached $200bn in 2012, a 20% increase year-on-year. It is forecasted that within five years, Africa will become China’s largest regional trading partner even surpassing its trade with the US and the European Union respectively.
“China’s slowing economic growth trajectory that is becoming less-resource intensive as well as its new government both have implications for China’s commercial relations with Africa,” said the organisers.
Zimbabwe imported $354.5-million worth of goods from China last year, according to ZimStats.
Zimbabwe’s trade with China stood at $800-million last year; double the trade levels recorded in 2011, according to the Chinese embassy. The growth in Zimbabwean exports to China is attributable mostly to minerals, among them diamonds.
China Development Bank last year reported that it planned $10-billion worth of investment in Zimbabwe over the next five years, and Chinese merchant Sinotex is involved in a $500-million cotton-production deal with more than 300 000 rural farmers.
Fifty-three Chinese companies were registered with the Chamber of Chinese Enterprises in Zimbabwe last year, with more than 1 200 Chinese employees a sign that trade relations between the two countries is growing.
The Johannesburg summit is interested in the implications this will have for China’s investment foray into Africa as well as local firms’ ability to penetrate the Chinese marketplace.
It is also interested in how the China-Africa economic relationship will evolve and how African business should reposition in light of the changing dynamics.
Other speakers include Dr Wang Jianye, Chief Economist, China Export-Import Bank, Zimbabwe Power Company CEO Noah Gwariro and Deputy CEO AfrAsia Bank, Ben Padayachy.
Topics to be discussed include China and the Africa resource sector, Infrastructure, China’s investment foray into Africa, evaluating the potential for China’s energy sector to power growth in Africa and the outlook for China’s Africa commerce.
Frontier Advisory works with the leadership of clients in the private sector, public sector and non-governmental space to deepen their understanding and ability to succeed in frontier and emerging markets.
According to statistics given by the economic and commercial office of the Chinese embassy late last year, there were about 5 000 Chinese nationals living and working in Zimbabwe.