Production capacity cooperation brings new opportunities to Africa’s development

Updated 2017-08-20 15:03:49 Xinhua

Production capacity cooperation between China and African countries can help the latter get rid of poverty and realize leapfrog development, said Justin Lin Yifu, counselor of the State Council and honorary dean of the National School of Development at Peking University.

"Since the 1950s and 1960s, the African countries have been grappling with the low-income trap and middle-income trap, which has caused them to lag behind, " said Lin during a recent lecture at Xinhuanet.

Lin encouraged African countries to learn from China's success in its economic development.

Before China's reform and opening-up, a majority of the country's workforce was in the rural area, Lin said.

After developing the labor-intensive processing and manufacturing industry, a lot of appealing work opportunities were created and provided to people in the rural areas, he added.

African countries, if follow China's trajectory, are very likely to eradicate poverty, create more jobs, and solve problems hindering development, Lin said.

According to Lin, Africa countries should capture the opportunity arising from the relocation of labor-intensive industries from higher-income countries to lower-income countries, and make good use of their comparative advantages to realize leapfrog development.

He cited a Chinese shoe making company in Ethiopia as an example.

In October 2011, one of China's biggest shoemakers invested and built a factory in Ethiopia.

After years of operation, it has developed into the largest shoemaker in that area. Currently, it employs about 6,500 local workers and is exporting shoes mainly to the United States.

"Before 2012, land-locked Ethiopia was one of the poorest countries in Africa, and few believed that it had the potential to grow into a manufacturing base selling goods to [international] market by developing its own labor-intensive industry," said Lin.

After China's foreign trade enterprises being relocated to Ethiopia, the international buyers become more confident about doing business with Ethiopia, Lin added.

Moreover, he said African continent has historically been an integral part of the ancient maritime silk road. And he believed that with the advancing of the Belt and Road Initiative, more developing countries in Africa would share the fruits of China's development.

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