Sunday, November 22, 2009

Emerging powers news roundup

by Sanusha Naidu

China is set to have a massive foreign exchange surplus for the foreseeable future, gobbling up natural resources producers in Africa and elsewhere, and is starting to pay more attention to its press, given its position as a major trading partner.

A. Investment and Trade

1. India expects investment in SA to remain strong
As India’s demand for natural and manufactured resources increase, the country’s direct foreign investment into South Africa would increase in search of these resources. More..

2. Zim, China sign US$8 billion investment deals
THE government of Zimbabwe and a Chinese joint venture company yesterday signed five strategic co-operation agreements that will see the country receive US$8 billion in investment deals in several sectors of the economy. More..

3. Nigeria attracts trade fair buyers with shea butter, minerals
Around 25 representatives from Nigeria are taking part in the ongoing India International Trade Fair, the only African country participating in the fortnight-long fair. Most of them are trading in agricultural products, like shea butter and minerals. More..

4. India-South Africa trade basket to be widened
Both the Ministers agreed that early conclusion of India-SACU Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) and Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (BIPA) will provide further impetus to trade in goods and investments. More..

5. Algeria Intends To Become An Export Base For Chinese Products
Algeria intends to become an export base for Chinese products manufactured in Algeria to Arab Free Trade Area (AFTA) countries, the European Union (EU) and the United States, entities with which we are bound by cooperation agreements, said Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CACI) Brahim Bendjaber. More..

6. Chinese, Algerian enterprises seek to expand business cooperation
A Chinese trade delegation and representatives from Algerian companies are seeking further cooperation in areas such as infrastructure construction, machine building, finance, service and agriculture. More..

7. Entrepreneur is creating a new generation of Nigerian businesses, Edozien
Standard Bank, the parent company of Stanbic IBTC Plc has affirmed its support to the China’s promise of $10 billion concessional loans to African countries. The bank announced at the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt, that it remains committed to ensuring that the opportunities arising from the China-Africa cooperation are beneficial for all parties. More..

8. Local telecom investor secures Shs600b loan
Local telecommunications investor, Libyan African Investment Portfolio (Lap) Green, has signed a $300 million (about Shs600 billion) financing agreement with the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) More..

9. Nigeria, China to enhance banking relations
First Bank of Nigeria Plc has expressed the readiness to enhance its banking relations with major Chinese financial institutions, following the approval of the China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) to open a representative office in Beijing. More..

10. Economic and Trade Cooperation Between China and Sierra Leone
The Scale of Aid to Sierra Leone increased rapidly. According to the needs of Sierra Leonean government, Chinese government provided more and more necessary aids to help Sierra Leone to improve the social-economic development and the livelihood of Sierra Leonean people. More..

B. Commentaries
1. The Battle for Angola's Oil
Thanks to accounts located in secrecy jurisdictions, also known as tax havens and offshore financial centers, Angola's oil transactions are protected from external investigation — even from branches of the same bank. Details of transactions are also ring-fenced by Angola's secretive state-owned company Sonangol, conveniently bypassing relevant ministries, the central treasury, and parliament. Since 2003, over $13.5 billion has been sourced through pre-export financing — largely limited to cash for future oil — from major banks including Standard Chartered, BNP Paribas, Commerz Bank, Deutsche Bank, Fortis, West LB, and others. More..

2. China and India engaged in 21st century ‘scramble for Africa’
In the 19th century it was European colonialists who scrambled for Africa’s riches. Today it is Asia’s emerging powers who are trawling the continent for raw materials to fuel their economies. More..

3. A Superpower Stirs
Now, at the dawn of the 21st century, the world is looking to China to assume an unfamiliar role of global leadership. At a time when American prestige is fading, China's status is rising. More..

4. Who won when the Wall fell down? China, of course
Two decades after the fall of the Berlin Wall most of the countries liberated from authoritarian one-party rule are currently struggling to emerge from recession, while China – with a self-appointed ruling party that ruthlessly defends its monopoly on power – has been such a rip-roaring capitalist success that it feels compelled to protect its investment in the US by advising the Obama administration to rein in deficit spending. History, it seems, has a wicked sense of humour. More..

5. China in Africa: Soft power, hard results
Building upon interviews from a broad range of Africans, it is shown that elites generally favor China’s presence in the region while the lower classes do not. Much of the local disapproval results from Chinese companies using limited amounts of domestic labor – particularly in relation to Western companies – as well as the flood of sometimes illegal Chinese immigrants to Africa selling cheap goods. More..

6. Hype belies challenges ahead for China-Africa ties
Beyond the bonhomie, competition from nimble and low-cost Chinese firms, a feeling that China's capacity to give is endless and an influx of migrants to Africa from the world's most populous nation could sour the tone of ties. More..

7. Paul Collier: History is repeated as tragedy in the new scramble for Africa
China is not party to the EITI and so has a massive competitive advantage over firms constrained by honesty. Yet Chinese involvement in African resource extraction can be a force for good. They have provided a welcome infusion of competition, raising prices for African resources and reducing prices for the construction projects on which many Chinese firms now bid. More..

8. China Defies Africa Policy Critics
Analysts usually draw attention to the downsides of Beijing’s engagement in Africa. Yet, this critical stance, especially promoted inside Europe, has neither stopped China from achieving its goals nor constructively added more successful development policies than what the country has already established on the continent. More..

9. Is Africa’s land up for grabs?
An apparent surge in the purchase of African land by foreign companies and governments to grow food and other crops for export has set alarm bells ringing on and off the continent. The headlines have been strident: “The Second Scramble for Africa Starts,” “Quest for Food Security Breeds Neo-Colonists,” “Food Security or Economic Slavery?” More..

C. African Development Partnerships
1. Africa needs to decide how it wants Indian help: academic
It is up to African countries to decide what kind of partnership they want with India, said a senior Indian academic. More..

2. Ghana Trades Union says China is important to Africa’s development
Dr Yaw Baah, Deputy Secretary-General of Ghana Trades Union Congress (GTUC) said the future of Ghana and Africa in the next two decades would be defined by their relationship with China. More..

3. A strategic alliance
The volume of Chinese direct investment into the continent has exceeded $7.8 billion, which stands for almost 10 per cent of total Chinese investment overseas. Despite the repercussions of the economic crisis, the first quarter of 2009 has seen a 77.5 per cent increase in Chinese investment in Africa. The number of Chinese companies operating in Africa has reached 1,600, conducting activities in various economic fields at a worth of $17 billion. More..

4. China reaches for African science
China took on a new role in African science last weekend (November 8), announcing plans to promote research in agriculture, medicine, and clean energy as part of its $10 billion investment in the region.

5. China offers Africa expertise, loans and advice
BRUSHING off accusations that its investment is denuding Africa of precious natural resources, China has pledged to help African countries overcome poverty and fight new threats like climate change, which scientists predict is likely to seriously affect the continent.

6. Chinese-African relations have evolved, says expert
China, as a major trading partner with the continent of Africa, is starting to pay more attention to its press: not only the international community as a whole, but African governments and African rights organisations, which is shaping policy between the two entities, according to Deborah Brautigam, author of The Dragon's Gift: the Real Story of China in Africa More..

7. Why China investments are good for Africa
Many have written expressing dismay and surprisingly anger, over the fact that China is virtually taking over or getting involved in all businesses worth talking about in Africa.

8. China's phone firms help Africa go mobile
The sheer scale of China's involvement in Africa overshadows the country's role, led by the likes of Huawei Technologies and ZTE Corp, in also putting the advantages of a modern mobile-phone network into the hands of the great African public. More..

9. China Curbs Its Appetite
The bigger the doubts about the West’s prospects, the greater become the assumptions about China’s economic power. China, it is said, will have a massive foreign exchange surplus for the foreseeable future, gobbling up natural resources producers in Australia, Africa and Latin America, buying U.S. technology companies to transfer know-how back to China, and using an open checkbook to pick up big stakes in famous European brands. More..

D. Tensions and Rivalries
1. Angolan 'mafia targets Chinese'
Violent attacks on Chinese expatriates in Angola are on the rise, construction workers say.The "mafia-style" gang violence could affect the countries' relations, according to Chinese business leaders in Angola. More..

2. Ethiopia's Meles says US at Fault for Africa's Econ Woes
Ethiopia Prime Minister Meles Zenawi says failures in the U.S. financial system are largely to blame for Africa's economic crisis, and pointed to China as a possible key to recovery. More..

3. Africa: A hot frontier for U.S. and China
As U.S. President Barack Obama shakes hands with Chinese President Hu Jintao and the highest-ranking members of the Chinese Politburo, one has to wonder if he is sizing up the competition. China appears to be leaving the United States in the dust by taking off on a global shopping spree from South America to the Middle East and especially Africa. More..