Businessmen in southeast China's Fujian Province should seize opportunities in Africa, said Justin Yifu Lin, economist and professor with the National School of Development at Peking University, at the Sino-Africa Industrial Economic Cooperation Summit held in the provincial capital of Fuzhou on Monday.
The majority of Fujian's middle and small-sized enterprises are in labor-intensive industries, but currently the labor cost in central and west China is only 30 percent lower than that in east China.
This made the industry transfer from east China to the central and western regions only a temporary solution for Fujian enterprises, while their future actually was to be found in Africa, as it is the only region in the world capable of receiving so many manufacturing and processing enterprises, said Lin, who is in fact the former chief economist and senior vice president of the World Bank.
“Africa has a population of 1 billion. The figure is similar with that of China in 1978, when the reform and opening-up policy was introduced and the majority of the population consisted of young laborers,” he said.
Africa will become the last stop in the transfer of labor-intensive industries, and will make the best choice for Chinese enterprises, according to Lin.
China became Africa's largest trading partner in 2009, and Africa was China's leading import source, second-largest market for overseas project contracting and fourth-largest outward investment destination, said a Chinese government white paper on China-Africa economic cooperation published last year.
( china.org.cn )