By MASATO MASATO, 12th May 2011 @ 12:00, Total Comments: 0, Hits: 3046
CHINESE investors on Thursday declared burning desire to invest in Africa's Free Trade Zones (FTZs), calling for concerted efforts between investors and host countries to address the critical challenges that impede business in the continent.
They cited erratic water and power supply as well as poor transport infrastructure and stinging government bureaucracies as some of the issues frustrating investors in Africa.
"The (Free Trade) Zones have proved huge potential of contributing to industrial development and job creation but the critical challenges that delay implementation of the projects have to be addressed," charged Ding Yong Hua whose firm is investing heavily in Nigeria.
He was giving Chinese investment experience in Africa to the three-day Africa Free Zones Association (AFZA) 2011 Convention that ends in Dar es Salaam on Friday. He asked African governments to put in place straight forward investment policies and speak with one voice.
"An investor wants to hear one voice from the government, but when two contradicting statements come from one government, they create unnecessary confusion to investors," said Mr Hua, referring to
contradictions that investors experience in getting incentives.
Delegates in the conference concurred that there have been cases of government offering some special incentives to investors, which however are sometimes denied by agencies of same government.
Mr Jiao Yong Shun whose firm -- Eastern Industry Zone -- is developing the FTZ in Ethiopia China’s investments in Africa were providing new opportunities to enhance industrial competitiveness in the continent through leveraging Chinese capital, technology, skills, expertise and access to markets.
He said transparency, well developed structure and policy stability were all that investors were looking to have flourishing investments in the region.
"Government efficiency is the best that investors want from you (African governments) -- create trust and confidence from investors because that is more important than money," said Mr Shun.
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