In this week's edition of the Emerging Powers News Round-Up, read a comprehensive list of news stories and opinion pieces related to China, India and other emerging powers...
Mozambique targets $4bn foreign investment in 2011
Mozambique aims to attract $4-billion in foreign direct investment this year, double last year's figure, the head of the government's Investment Promotion Centre (CPI) said on Thursday. CPI General Director Lourenco Sambo told Reuters in an interview that his agency would market the country's agriculture, mining, energy and infrastructure sectors to foreign investors from India, China and Europe. "Our major target is to have more than $4-billion of foreign direct investments in 2011, up from $2-billion last year when the global financial crisis swept across the world resulting in the downward trend of investments", Sambo said.
'India, developing countries grew 43% biotech crops in 2010'
It could engender renewed debate, in the thick of high food prices that analysts and food sector think tanks including the FAO say are here to stay, over the urgent need to adopt new crop technoIogy and boost production to feed the world's burgeoning population. The annual report of the ISAAA (International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications) released here today said that India and other developing countries grew close to 43% of the biotech crops in 2010 and would exceed acreage in industrialised nations by 2015. While biotech sector stakeholders may be frustrated over the fact that the moratorium on Bt Brinjal (last week ws the first anniversay of the moratorium), India's first biotech food crop, persists and blocks the road to other feed and food GM crops, India had in the meantime grown self sufficient in cotton thanks to large scale adoption of Bt cotton, the report emphasized.
2. China in Africa
China's Africa investment to hit $50 billion by 2015
A fast-growing China is shipping more of its investments to the less-developed African continent, and the Standard Bank Group Ltd has predicted the country's gross investments in Africa will rise to $50 billion by 2015. The bank also estimates bilateral trade between the two is expected to hit $300 billion by 2015, double the 2010 figure, The Bloomberg News reported Wednesday. Thanks to China's huge capital inflows, Africa's gross domestic product will rise by around 6 percent annually through 2015, the bank said.
Kenya-China bilateral trade hits record Sh144 billion
The value of bilateral trade between Kenya and China hit Sh144 billion ($1.8 billion) in 2010, with the Asian nation promising to encourage Chinese firms to import more as a way of addressing the trade imbalance between the two countries. China’s ambassador to Kenya, Mr Liu Guangyuan, said the value of bilateral trade between the two nations was expected to strengthen further this year. “The sentiments are good and our ties are deepening,” he told a news conference in Nairobi. According to provisional data by in Economic Survey 2010, bilateral trade between the two countries slightly surpassed the Sh104 billion ($1.3 billion) mark in 2009 following a firm run over the first 10 months.
East Africa, China explore new areas of cooperation
The East Africa Community (EAC) and the Chinese government held talks on Wednesday to explore new areas of cooperation and boost trade between both sides. A statement from the EAC Secretariat said China's Ministry of Commerce Director Department of West Asian and African Affairs Chai Zhijing held discussions with Secretary General of the East African Community Juma Mwapachu on bilateral cooperation. "The Chinese delegation were at the EAC Headquarters to explore areas of cooperation specifically trade and investment opportunities in areas such as agriculture, animal-husbandry, production and processing of mineral and other natural resources, manufacturing, commerce and logistics, and tourism," the statement said. It noted that the delegation wants to know how China could support and facilitate cross-border infrastructure projects such as transport, communication and power.
Groups protest, seeking China’s pullout from controversial Ethiopian dam
International environmental groups, members of civil society and other concerned individuals on Sunday held a protest in Kenya to petition the Chinese government against financing the construction of Ethiopia’s controversial mega-dam. Sudan Tribune has learnt that the protesters, lobbied by Friends of Lake Turkana, marched to the Chinese embassy in Nairobi where they delivered a petition calling on China to stop its firms from engaging in the dam project, which is being under construction by an Italian company. Campaigners argue that the construction of Gibe III Dam will devastate the fragile ecosystems of the lower Omo Valley and Kenya’s Lake Turkana, on which 500,000 poor farmers, herders and fisher folk rely for their livelihoods.
3. India in Africa
Ethiopia to host second India-Africa summit
India Monday announced it will hold its second summit with African states in Ethiopia later this year and underlined that the continent enjoys a special place in the hearts of the Indian people. 'My government intends to hold the second India-Africa Forum Summit in Ethiopia later this year,' President Pratibha Patil told the joint session of the Indian parliament's two houses. 'As the first such initiative in Africa by India, it is a measure of the special place that Africa enjoys in the hearts of the people of India,' Patil said. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will fly to the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa to participate in the summit in May.
Ahead of May summit, India steps up Africa diplomacy
Ahead of the second India-Africa Forum Summit, External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna Thursday met his counterparts from over half a dozen African countries and underlined New Delhi's commitment to the development of the continent. Krishna met his counterparts from Eritrea, Lesotho, Burundi, Ethiopia, Niger, Central African Republic, Togo and Angola and discussed a range of bilateral issues, including intensification of trade, counter-terror cooperation and the UN reforms. Underlining India's historical ties with Africa, which had been re-invigorated in recent decades, Krishna said India felt privileged to be the development partner of fellow African nations, particularly Lowest Developing Countries (LDCs), in accordance with their priorities and aspirations.
India's SAIL may build 3Mt/y steel plant in SA
Steel Authority of India (SAIL) will build four overseas steel plants with a total $12-billion investment, which will be mostly funded through debt, its chairman said on Monday. The state-run company is also looking for a strategic investor for its proposed plants in Indonesia, Oman, Mongolia and South Africa, which would produce three-million tons of steel each, C.S. Verma told reporters. "Funding of $12-billion will be met through 70% to 80% of debt and the rest 20% to 30% through equity," Verma said.
Clothing and textiles show to promote SA-India trade relations
To further promote trade relations between South Africa and India, 30 clothing and textile manufacturers from India would show their collections of finished garments and interior décor at the Indian clothing and textile trade show in March. Although South Africa was viewed as a relatively small market for India, when compared with the US and Europe, it was hoped that this would increase. Indian Consular General Vikram Doraiswami said that eventually, the idea would be to invest in manufacturing capacity in South Africa, should suitable incentives be in place to attract investors.
4. In Other Emerging Powers News
Sudan invites Russia to infrastructure, energy projects
Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir has invited Russian companies to take part in infrastructure and energy project in the northern part of the country. The Khartoum government is seeking ways of restructuring the country's economy before South Sudan splits in July. Al Bashir met with the Kremlin's special envoy for Sudan, Mikhail Margelov, to discuss Russian-Sudanese contracts. "We discussed a whole range of economic issues, including Sudan's readiness to sign a contract with Russia on the construction of a railway linking [Sudan's main port city"> Port Sudan and West Darfur's capital el-Geneina, as well as contracts to build power plants in the country," Margelov said after the meeting.
Russian special envoy to Sudan meets Ethiopian officials
Russian envoy to Sudan Mikhail Margelov on Thursday held talks with prime minister Meles Zenawi and foreign affairs minister Hailemariam Desalegn on bilateral, regional and continental concerns, according to an official from the ministry of foreign affairs. During the discussion, Margelov reaffirmed his country’s readiness to maintain lasting peace and security in the horn of Africa’s region. He lauded Ethiopia’s ongoing efforts for regional peace. He also hailed roles Ethiopian troops are playing to maintain durable peace in Sudan, which he said that he had witnessed during his visit to Sudan.
SA companies must get into Southern Sudan early - Sisulu
South African businesses must take advantages of opportunities in Southern Sudan as soon as possible, with the state set to gain independence on 11 July, said Minister of Defence and Military Veterans Lindiwe Sisulu. Briefing journalists on Tuesday, Sisulu said the drive for regional integration on the continent would remain a key focus of the government. Sisulu, who chairs the government's International Co-operation, Trade and Security cluster, said South African firms are already involved in the reconstruction of Southern Sudan. While SABMiller had already built a $30 million brewery in Southern Sudan, which had been in operation for over a year, consulting engineers at KV3 are assisting in refurbishing government buildings, such as Juba Hospital.
5. Blogs, Opinions, Presentations and Publications
Special Report: In Africa, can Brazil be the anti-China?
Hiring locals might seem unremarkable on a continent with an oversupply of cheap labor. But the issue of who works on Africa's big infrastructure projects has come into sharp focus in recent years. At building sites from Angola to Zambia, teams of Chinese workers often do the work instead of Africans. Where locals are employed, their rough treatment by Chinese managers has stirred bitterness. In Zambia last October, the Chinese managers of Collum Mine shot and wounded 11 local coal miners protesting over pay and working conditions. That growing resentment is one reason why Brazilian engineering group Odebrecht, contracted to get Liberia's railway rolling again, made a conscious decision to employ locals for the job -- and treated them well.
Africa, China to reshape oil markets
Africa is poised to become a major player in the global oil markets due to the discovery of new reserves and as it ramps up production to meet growing global demand, especially from China, according to a special report released by Standard Bank at the International Petroleum Week conference in London. The report was researched and written by Standard Bank commodities experts James Zhang, Walter de Wet, Marc Ground, Jeremy Stevens and Simon Freemantle. Africa, already a major source for oil exports to China, has shown huge potential in oil reserves and future production. According to the report, Chinese demand and African production will play an increasing role in the shaping of global oil markets in the years to come.