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Davies: African industrialisation crucial

Jul 19 2012 10:42 I-Net Bridge

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Johannesburg - African leaders need to be ambitious in industrialising the African continent‚ says Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies.

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 Davies.

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 products.

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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rob davies  |  africa
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