VENTURES AFRICA – China remains one of Africa’s biggest trade patner globally while Africans, particularly those in China, see the world’s second largest economy as an attractive business destination.
However, business conditions are far from being conducive despite opportunities presented by China.
Beijing’s business model in Africa involves building extensive infrastructure projects on the continent and granting loans in exchange for access to natural resources, trade oppourtunities and expansion into new markets while African companies in China hope to tap into the country’s growing middle class.
According to CNN, despite the growing opportunities, many Africans in China feels the overall relationship is far from being a two-way street.
Many Africans complain of discrimination, restriction of religious practices and visa issues.
Other problems encountered include getting documents to allow their families to join them, thereby making it harder for them to settle down; while others complain about navigating potential pitfalls like protecting intellectual property.
However, Chinese government says it is fighting to protect intellectual property rights and encourage foreigners to work. In doing this, Beijing has been sponsoring programs at Chinese University to encourage young Africans study in the country.
Africans in China on their part are hoping to use these acquired skill to improve their homeland.