The Chinese government has shown “strong interest” in setting up factories in Africa, helping the continent develop a manufacturing base and boost its economy, the president of the World Bank said today.
While most attention on China’s investment in Africa has focused on its large-scale pursuit of natural resources, experts say a growing number of entrepreneurs are experimenting with production.
However, some questioned whether the workshop of the world was ready to outsource much of its industry.
“There is not only willingness but strong interest among some in China, and I’ve discussed with the minister of commerce, Chen Deming, that there may be possibilities of moving some of the lower-value manufacturing facilities to sub-Saharan Africa, toys or footwear,” Robert Zoellick, the president of the World Bank, told the Financial Times.
He suggested that Chinese knowhow in production and marketing could boost Africa’s declining share of international trade, but admitted infrastructure improvements were needed to attract companies.