African countries should take the third China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo as an opportunity to strengthen cooperation with China to advance their industrialization and infrastructure development, Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Michael Okyere Baafi said Monday.
China and Africa need to strengthen their already strong relations and make it even more mutually beneficial through trade, Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry Michael Okyere Baafi told Xinhua at a promotion event for the third China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo.
The expo, under the theme “Common development for a shared future,” will be held from June 29 to July 2 in Changsha, the capital of central China’s Hunan Province.
At the event, Chinese officials presented favorable investment policies to the Ghanaian business community with the hope of fostering cooperation.
Since the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) came into force in 2019, Africa has become a big market for Chinese investors, Baafi said. “This is the time companies from China should be very interested in coming to Africa to explore this huge market.”
“We are talking about a market size of 1.2 billion people and a combined GDP of about 3.4 trillion U.S. dollars,” the deputy minister noted.
To make trade on the continent more effective, the deputy minister said there should be a viable manufacturing base under the AfCFTA.
Baafi believes Chinese and Ghanaians could cooperate in advancing industrialization in various African countries. “The only point to accelerate our growth and industrialization is in plants and machinery. This is one of the reasons the Ministry of Trade and Industry supports this program, and we shall surely be at the fair.”
He urged Chinese companies to invest in the automotive industry in Africa, and called on Ghanaian enterprises to take the advantage of the expo to establish partnerships with their counterparts in China.
“What Hunan is doing in terms of development is exceptional, and Ghana and other Africa countries need to learn from it. Ghana is ready for partnerships, especially in the area of industrialization,” Baafi said.