The inaugural China-Africa Industrial Capacity Cooperation Expo, which concluded in Kenya's Nairobi on Saturday, has seen a strong interest in Sino-African industrial cooperation.
The maiden expo has attracted more than 50 Chinese firms drawn from diverse sectors to showcase their products and services. It also featured interactive sessions between Chinese and African firms keen to forge partnerships.
Adan Mohamed, Kenya's Cabinet Secretary for Trade, Industry and Cooperatives, said the Nairobi expo reinforced the critical role of China to advance industrial progress in Africa.
"The China-Africa forum happening for the first time on the African continent symbolizes the confidence China has on Africa and its desire to deepen that partnership to a higher level," Mohamed said.
At the four-day event, African officials also participated in roundtables aimed at showcasing investment opportunities in their home countries to Chinese investors.
Managing Director of Kenya Investment Authority Moses Ikiara said the expo offered a platform for both sides to explore new partnerships that can unleash mutual benefits.
"We hope African countries will be able to tap into China's strength in areas of technology, manpower and finance to develop a strong manufacturing base," Ikiara remarked.
He added that implementation of China's Belt and Road Initiative will spur industrial progress in Africa while modernizing the continent's economies.
The expo has attracted delegations from 30 African countries that were keen to gain understanding of China's manufacturing prowess.
Aschalew Tadesse, Investment Promotion Team Leader at Ethiopia Investment Commission (EIC), said the expo was held at an opportune moment when African countries were keen to harness China's expertise, capital and technological edge to establish robust industrial parks.
"Chinese investments in our priority sectors like manufacturing, infrastructure and agro-processing are timely to help drive economic growth and create employment for skilled youth," said Tadesse.
Chinese investors who participated in the Nairobi expo expressed optimism about emerging opportunities in Africa.
Qiu Fan, Sales Director of Shenzhen-based Romer Environmental Protection, said Africa presents new opportunities for Chinese investors thanks to rising purchasing power occasioned by strong economic growth.
Qiu said his company, engaging in sea water desalination and borehole water purification, has received orders from Kenyan clients wishing to purchase water treatment technologies to deal with water-borne diseases.
"We have already ventured into four African countries and are confident our returns on investment will be guaranteed," Qiu told Xinhua.
"We received orders from large companies and individuals who expressed confidence in our water purifiers. There is a possibility of setting up a factory in Kenya in the near future," said Qiu.
Jiang Xuejun, chief of the Office for Asia and the Pacific at the International Trade Centre (ITC), said both China and its African partners should establish mechanisms of sharing best practices and expertise required to promote industrial growth.
From Xinhua News