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Badilisha Lugha KISWAHILI

Investors need favorable policies to work, Africa told

7th November 2012

African governments have been challenged to put in place favourable policies and environment to attract more foreign investors.

The remarks were made here last Saturday by Huajian Group President Zhang Huarong when addressing a group of journalists from Africa who visited the Huajian Shoes Company.

He said that with good policies and a conducive environment more overseas investors will be attracted to invest in African countries where there are many investment opportunities.

“We have currently businesses in Ethiopia where we have just built a shoes factory ….our vision is to go to other African countries but we need first to understand the African market through our Ethiopian based company,”  Huarong said.

The motivation behind his decision to invest in Ethiopia was the good policy of the country whereby the government was keen to invite overseas investors to inject in capital, he said.

Todate, the company both in its operations has 24,000 employees and annual production is 16 million pairs of shoes with USD 300m in sales.

Reacting on the quality of Chinese products which are described as substandard, Huarong said people who claim that Chinese products are of poor quality are those who prefer cheap products.

The market is determined by price and the price is driven by quality of the product, thus it is obvious that cheap goods will be of poor quality, he explained.

“Some traders from other countries want products of low prices, as a result they end up getting goods of poor quality,” he explained further.

Huarong said China produces products of good quality which are sold to different parts of the world, including Developed Countries.

Meanwhile, the Director General of Guangdong Foreign Affairs Office Fu Lang said that there is a huge potential for future development in the prevailing cooperation between China and Africa.

Although some nations are skeptical about Chinese presence in Africa, but for them they see great potential for future development which will lead to increased understanding and mutual benefits, he observed.

The global financial crisis has not only affected the economy of the western countries, but has also impacted China, that is why the country is currently trying to develop economic relationships with the Developing Countries especially Africa, he said.

Giving the example of foreign trade, he said, currently the trade volume between Guangdong Province and western countries is decreasing while that with Africa is increasing.

Lang further said that with the reform and opening–up policy, China is encouraging expanded foreign cooperation to bolster entrepreneurs to enhance investment in foreign countries.

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