Africa is on top of China’s lists, as a rich source of business opportunities, which, when tapped, would bring in economic development in the African region, Forbes reported.
Chinese presence in Africa has grown in recent years. According to Brookings research, Chinese investment in Africa has increased from USD 210 million in 2000 to 3.17 billion in 2011. In 2013, trade between China and Africa amounted to $200 billion.
It added that China’s involvement in Africa covers various sectors from agriculture, education, transportation, energy, communication, and health.
Since aid projects of China in Africa have grown, China’s influence has expanded as well.
Howard French, author of the book, China’s Second Continent, summarizes the relationship of China and Africa.
“Sensing that Africa had been cast aside by the West in the wake of the Cold War, Beijing saw the continent as the perfect proving ground for some Chinese companies to cut their teeth in international business,” an excerpt from French book stated.
Africa for his part is a continent rich in natural resources and brimming with market potentials from aviation, infrastructure and energy resources.
China’s influence in Africa will further strengthen with the recent agreement forged with France to boost the two nations' cooperation on areas of infrastructure and energy projects to help African and Asian countries.
The partnership is expected to provide emerging economies in Asia and Africa an opportunity to tap into "new forms of co-contracting, co-production and co-financing."
Earlier, France24 reported that the deal would include countries jointly producing civilian aircraft, selling the creations to African and Asian countries, as well as France and China cooperating in the agricultural and transport industries.
Africa, which is the second largest continent in the world, has a vast land rich in mineral resources. In fact, its mineral industry is one of the biggest in the world.
According to 2009 Africa Mining Vision report, the continent is rich with minerals such as gold, cobalt and diamonds. Africa is also a major global producer of copper, iron ore, coal, uranium and petroleum.
Since China’s economy is also linked to its presence in Africa, there is also an increased demand for mineral commodities. Thus, mining companies in Africa will be able to take advantage of this opportunity.
The report said global demand had increased mostly due to China’s economic growth, adding that from the period from 2000 to 2007, China doubled its demand for aluminum, copper and zinc while demand for nickel was quadrupled.
Africa needs to ramp up its mining sector in order to compete with emerging companies.
A new copper and nickel explorer, Amur Minerals Corporation (London AIM: AMC) is a British-owned company in Russia that is developing into a reliable mineral exploration firm.
China has also been showing interest anew in the mining industry in Africa through acquisitions of businesses that can carry out mining projects in the production of copper, iron ore and uranium deposits.
Africa had been receiving over $100 billion in investments from China in its mining sector and with a renewed focus in the region by other developed nations such as the United States, Africa is surely an economic region to reckon with in the future.