The second Investing in Africa Forum is underway in the southern city of Guangzhou. It is one of the biggest, and arguably most influential events of the year for Chinese-African business relations. The event has already led to more than 2.5 billion US dollars in deals.
Chinese Vice Premier Ma Kai addresses the opening ceremony of the 2nd Investing in Africa Forum in Guangzhou, capital of south China's Guangdong Province, Sept. 7, 2016. (Xinhua/Liang Xu)
Around 300 government officials, entrepreneurs and international organization representatives are taking part in the Investing in Africa Forum. Both Chinese and African leaders have come here to Guangzhou to reiterate their committment to strengthening their relationships.
"We will continue to encourage Chinese enterprises to expand their investments in Africa, following the principles of mutually beneficial cooperation, as well as green and sustainable development," said Ma Kai, Chinese Vice Premier.
"Chinese investment aims to help African countries increase job opportunities, protect the environment and improve people's livelihoods."
China is currently the largest single bilateral investor in Africa as well as the continent's largest trading partner. This stems from years of ramping up business activity: In 2000, China's investment amount in Africa amounted to less than US$1 billion. By the end of 2015, it had exceeded US$100 billion.
Many African countries want to speed up industrialization and agricultural modernization. And Chinese businesses are eager to tap into the continent's growing markets. That sets the stage for a lot more business to be done.
Thousands of Chinese investors have already invested in Africa, in every sector imaginable, from agriculture to infrastructure to manufacturing.
At the forum, dozens of enterprises from Guangdong province have signed investment contracts with companies and governments of African countries. The tally of the deals made so far comes to more than US$2.5 billion.
"This time, we plan to invest in an automobile manufacturing plant in the Republic of Congo, worth than US$200 million," said Wang Yi, president, Winhope International Group.
"And the Congo government also shows their support with government orders of US$500 million. This project is our second investment in Africa, following an investment in another automobile plant in Angola in 2012."
After over 30 years of reforms and opening-up, many Chinese companies have rich experience in manufacturing and infrastructure development. African officials are seeking more such involvement from Chinese investors.
As the ties between China and Africa grow closer, many officials and representatives from African countries say they will create more opportunities to welcome growing Chinese investors.