China Plans to Expand Investment in Africa

Mining, aviation and other transportation, renewable energy and the financial sector will be the "priority areas" of China's future investment in African countries.

China said on Oct. 14 it would continue to invest Africa, despite criticism over its willingness to ignore human rights abuses, and environment and corruption issues in some countries.

"We believe there is still large room for the investment cooperation between China and Africa," Zhong Manying, head of the West Asian and African affairs department of the commerce ministry, told reporters.

"We will certainly continue to invest in existing areas of our cooperation and also further expand into new sectors," she said.

Mining, aviation and other transportation, renewable energy and the financial sector will be the "priority areas" of China's future investment in African countries, she said.

China had pumped a total of $9.3 billion into Africa by the end of 2009, according to the China-Africa Trade and Economic Relationship Annual Report 2010, launched on Oct. 14 by a research institute under the ministry.

Investment in the continent reached $1.44 billion in 2009 alone, compared with $220 million in 2000, the report said, reflecting China's growing interest in Africa's resources to fuel its fast-growing economy.

Bilateral trade this year is expected to reach or exceed the record high of $106.8 billion in 2008, the report said, after it fell to $91.1 billion last year due to the financial crisis.

China has been criticized by the West over its support for regimes in places such as Sudan and Zimbabwe, which have been accused of human rights abuses, but many African leaders praise Beijing for not preaching to them over the issue.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2010

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