Johannesburg - African leaders need to be ambitious in
industrialising the African continent‚ says Trade and Industry Minister Rob
Davies is one of the cabinet ministers accompanying
President Jacob Zuma on an official visit to China.
"That’s what we think needs to happen if we are to
consolidate this growth spirit into a sustained development effort‚” said
Addressing the fourth Conference of the African and Chinese
Entrepreneurs in Beijing attended by more than a thousand businesspeople from
China and Africa‚ Davies said Africa was the next growth frontier.
"Africa has emerged as the next growth frontier of the world
and it is increasingly being recognised as such. Six of the ten fastest growing
economies of the world are located on the African continent‚" he said.
Global lender‚ the International Monetary Fund‚ forecast the
average rate of growth on the African continent to reach 5.5% in 2012.
Speaking later in a ceremony to officially open the
conference‚ Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao‚ said despite volatilities in the
international arena in recent years‚ cooperation between China and Africa had
weathered the storm and continued to grow and strengthen.
"China Africa business ties have seen exciting growth both
in size and structure. Bilateral relations have grown rapidly with increased
trade mix‚" Jiabao said.
He added that for three years in a row‚ China had been
Africa’s biggest trading partner.
Bilateral trade is reported to have increased to $166bn in
2012‚ with Africa’s export to China doubling in three years. Exports included
steel‚ agricultural products‚ mineral products and other finished industrial
Davies is scheduled to attend the Ministerial Conference of
the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) on Thursday and Friday.
FOCAC is a platform established by China and African countries‚
in Beijing in 2000‚ for collective consultation and dialogue and a cooperation
mechanism between the developing economies.
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