Recently, industrial capacity cooperation has become a catchword in China-Africa cooperation. Many African countries are eager to embrace the historic opportunity brought about by China’s economic transformation and upgrading, and become the first places to host Chinese investors, so as to add fuel to their own industrialization strategies.
There are mutual needs and complementarity between China and Africa to carry out industrial capacity cooperation and a rare historic opportunity has come for the two sides, which can help China and Africa to achieve win-win cooperation for common development, make the world more balanced, stable and prosperous, and benefit the people of China, Africa and around the world.
Industrial capacity cooperation between China and Africa is the urgent need for Africa to realize independent and sustainable development. Since the middle of the last century, African countries have achieved national independence one after another, and sought to promote economic development through international cooperation. However, some countries outside the region are only willing give Africa “fish” instead of “teaching Africa how to fish”. Many African countries still suffer from hunger and under-development.
It is impossible to realise real political independence without economic independence. By giving others fish, one might help to address the immediate needs of others. Only after “learning how to fish” can Africa sets up its own industrial system, move out of the disadvantage of exporting raw materials at a low price and importing expensive finished products, thus realizing independent and sustainable development and controlling their own destiny.
Industrial capacity cooperation is to “let African countries know how to fish”, helping Africa to get rid of the two persistent bottleneck constraints hindering its development and industrialization, i.e., insufficiency in infrastructure and talent. The Chinese government encourages Chinese businesses to invest in Africa, transfer their technologies bring more job opportunities, foreign exchange, tax revenue and added value of primary products to the local people, thus translating Africa’s abundant natural and human resources into real development results .
Industrial capacity cooperation between China and Africa is the natural trend of China’s economic transformation and upgrading. After more than 30 years of reform and opening up, China has developed a large number of leading industries which provide advanced equipments and products to the world, and numerous internationally competitive businesses have grown in China. At the same time, due to increase of labour cost, a large number of labour-intensive businesses in China need to move overseas for new development. China can and need to bring its industrial capacity overseas, and help other countries to develop while achieving China’s own development. This is also in line with the rule of world economic development. Japan and the four Asian tigers all realized economic takeoff after taking over industrial capacity from overseas, and later became source countries to export industrial capacity to overseas markets.