Afreximbank Executive Vice President Dr. George Elombi (left) in handshake with Mayor Qu Futian of Suzhou during Afreximbank delegation visit to Suzhou Industrial Park in China.
The establishment of twinning arrangements between leading industrial parks in China and African cities with industrial aspirations would help to accelerate the industrialization of the continent, the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) has proposed.
Dr. Elombi said that, as part of its mandate to promote Africa-South trade, Afreximbank would assist in setting up such twinning arrangements, which, he noted, would also strengthen relations between Africa and China.
Mayor Qu had said that in 2015, products and services from the Suzhou Industrial Park accounted for $3.2 billion of China’s trade with Africa. In the same year, the industrial park accounted for eight per cent of China’s export trade value and 7.7 per cent of the import value.
Earlier, during a meeting with some companies operating in the industrial park, Dr. Elombi had told them that Afreximbank would work with those interested in setting up operations in Africa to identify suitable locations, find local partners and navigate local administrative landscapes.
Afreximbank would also be able to add confirmations to enable the companies secure the financing they needed in order to continue or to scale up their operations in Africa, he added.
Don Gao, Chief Executive Officer of Positec Group, said that his company, the sixth largest power tools company in the world, was interested in relocating some of its manufacturing to Africa and would be interested in working with Afreximbank to achieve that goal.
Wenwen Wu, President of Higer Bus Company, said that Africa was his company’s largest market, with annual export sales totaling $60 million.
Mr. Wenwen said that Higer Bus Company needed finance support to address foreign exchange issues relating to some of its business in Africa.
Also participating in the meeting were the Hengtong Group, a light cable and related products, represented by Zhu Haiming, the Vice President, and the Jiangsu Guotai International Group, which produces steel, chemicals and textiles, and which was represented by the President, Chen Xiaodong.
The visit to the Suzhou Industrial Park was organized by the Export-Import Bank of China (China Eximbank) as part of consultations between Afreximbank and China Eximbank aimed at strengthening relations between the two institutions. It began in Beijing on Wednesday with a meeting between the Afreximbank President, Dr. Benedict Oramah, and President Liu Liange of China Eximbank.
Manal Mounir Hendy