By Tobi Eyinade
VENTURES AFRICA – Last week, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) signed a deal to invest $26 billion in Equatorial Guinea. The ICBC, China’s biggest lender, said most of the fund will go to providing infrastructural and financial support for the Equatorial Guinea government and Chinese enterprises located in the country.
The pact, which marked another of the many spending spree of China on the continent of Africa, is one of the outcomes of a 5-day state visit paid by the President of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, Teodor Obiang Nguema to Beijing. In a grand welcome ceremony organized by the Republic of China, President Li Jiping reinstated his commitment to promoting a cordial bilateral relationship between the nations for mutual development. “China and Africa have always been a community of common destiny” said President Li Jiping, as he pledged to foster a partnership that features mutual trust and equality between the two countries.
In 2009, China surpassed the United States as Africa’s largest trading partner, with over $198.5 billion in foreign direct investment (FDI). However, China’s investment in the continent has generated attacks bycritics for its trade imbalance and its perceived disinterestedness in developing human capacity and creating employment. The Asian giant refutes this criticism and describes its deals as “win-win” situations that will spur economic growth in their trading partners.
Guinea recently joined the league of countries that have attracted Chinese FDI as the China Power Investment Corporation invested $6 billion in its bauxite and alumina project in 2012. Also, in line with China’s “going out” policy, the China Railway Construction Corporation (CRCC) last Monday signed two construction deals worth $5.5 billion to be carried out in Nigeria and Zimbabwe.
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