COMESA, China Development Fund in talks
COMESA Secretary-General Sindiso Ngwenya met the heads of the China Development Bank and the China-Africa Development Fund in Lusaka on November 22 to discuss ways of co-operation in the area infrastructure development and finance.
China Development Bank chief representative in Zambia, Li Yong; China-Africa Development Fund representative in Zambia Li Dongwei; China Development Bank assistant to the commissioner for international co-operation Xie Peng; and Tang Zhiyan from the Jidong Development Group expressed keen interest in working with the COMESA Secretariat to identify regional projects that can be supported.
Ngwenya told the investors that COMESA feels that the private sector is missing in the current China-COMESA partnerships especially in the area of institutional capacity building and financing.
“The COMESA region is well endowed with natural resources, which we have not fully exploited.
“We need to put up good infrastructure and encourage competition in order to bring about development,” Ngwenya said.
He briefed the Chinese delegation on the strong partnership that most COMESA countries are enjoying with China. For example, China is a shareholder in the PTA Bank, which is a COMESA institution; and the Export and Import Bank of China is also actively involved in most COMESA countries.
Li Yong said the China Development Bank was happy to enter various forms of co-operation with COMESA and so far they are actively involved in six COMESA countries providing finance, investment and financial advisory services.
The China-Africa Development Fund was launched in 2006 at the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Co-operation.
China’s President Hu Jintao said Beijing would undertake eight measures to forge a new type of China-Africa strategic partnership, strengthening bilateral cooperation in more areas and at a higher level.
Amongst them was establishment of a China-Africa development fund, which will eventually reach US$5 billion, to encourage and support Chinese investment in Africa.
The establishment of the China-Africa Development Fund embodies the principles of “enhancing friendship, treating each other as equals, extending mutual support; and promoting common development” in strengthening the ties between China and Africa.