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...
1. China in Africa
China shifts focus in Africa
According to the latest Economist Intelligence Unit report into Chinese investment in Africa, there’s been a distinct shift in emphasis. It says while Beijing’s investment in Africa’s resource sector is significant - its not a game-changer and the mainland is now going after the consumer more aggressively.
Africa can gain from dearer Chinese labour: World Bank
Rising labour costs will push over 80 million Chinese jobs in light manufacturing abroad over the next three to five years, with African nations well placed to lure many of them their way, the World Bank said. Obiageli Ezekwesili, World Bank vice president for Africa, also hailed recent local efforts to bolster the continent's farming sector after decades of neglect, but warned that the region remained overly exposed to food and fuel price shocks.
China names envoy to Comesa in race for Africa trade
China has formalised diplomatic ties with Africa’s largest market bloc as it builds trade and investment ties with the region. The fast rising Asian economy has appointed Mr Zhaou Yuxiao its envoy to the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa), boosting relations with the 19-member bloc. Mr Zhaou will double up as the envoy to Zambia which hosts the head office of Comesa that also wants to merge with the East African Community (EAC) and the Southern Africa Development Community (Sadc).
African transformation results in Chinese investment
Africa is transforming and growing in importance, particularly in mining resource potential, The Beijing Axis (TBA) founder and group MD Kobus van der Wath reports. The continent, in the past 15 years, has seen governmental, governance and political change, with positive develop- ments taking place in regulations, policies and infrastructure in many regions, TBA says.
Portuguese-speaking and Chinese businesspeople meet in Luanda, Angola, this month
The capital of Angola, Luanda, on 20 and 21 July is due to host the 2nd meeting of businesspeople for trade and economic cooperation between Portuguese-speaking countries and China, Angolan weekly newspaper Expansão reported. The newspaper cited the meeting’s organisers as saying that, although so far only 163 businesspeople had signed up, the total number of participants was expected to be around 400.
Lambasting Chinese Companies Could Imperil African Workers, Analysts Say
Beijing solidified a business partnership with Zimbabwe last week that unionists say is responsible for abusive work environments across the southern African nation. In a diplomatic visit of Zimbabwean officials to Beijing, both nations' ruling parties pledged to make good on a 2010 treaty, promising strengthened Sino-Zimbabwean political and economic cooperations.
But some Zimbabweans say that ties are strong enough.
2. India in Africa
India’s Tata plans SA factory
TATA, the Indian industrial giant, will begin construction of a vehicle assembly facility in Rosslyn, Pretoria, later this month. The company’s spokesman in Mumbai, Debasis Ray, confirmed the investment yesterday. "We’re not giving out any details now, but it’s been in the planning for some time to build an assembly plant in SA," he said. The announcement comes at a time of increased interest in automotive investments into SA.
India keen on ties with South Sudan
India has drawn out an elaborate blueprint for engaging oil and resource-rich South Sudan, Africa’s newest country that will come into existence over the weekend, foreign ministry officials said on Thursday. Vice-president Hamid Ansari will represent the world’s largest democracy at the birth of the new nation on Saturday. Foreign ministry officials said India and South Sudan have been reaching out to each other since earlier, with Pricilla Kuch, minister of state in the office of South Sudan President, visiting New Delhi in April.
3. In Other Emerging Powers News
Home-grown hurdles push Indian firms to invest abroad
With land frustratingly hard to get at home, India's largest rubber producer decided to make its next investment -- and its first overseas -- a continent away, in Africa. Harrisons Malayalam , which is also a major tea grower, is joining a surge in outbound investment by corporate India. It plans to spend up to $112 million somewhere in Africa to buy about 10,000 acres. The overseas investment push by Indian companies, often seen as the assertiveness of a rising power, is increasingly spurred by difficulty finding attractive opportunities in Asia's third-largest economy. "Plantation land in India is very scarce and the competition is intense for the little that is available," said Harrisons Malayalam Managing Director Pankaj Kapoor. "So all the plantation companies are looking at Africa where it is still available and cheap."
China trumps Brazil in simmering African showdown
A century ago, it was the explorers and infantrymen of Europe's great powers slugging it out for slices of Africa. Now, it is the agents of Chinese and Brazilian capital, but the competition is just as fierce. Underscoring the new world order of the 21st century, Brazil's Vale, the world's biggest iron ore producer, is going head-to-head with Jinchuan Group, China's dominant nickel producer, in a fight for Metorex, a medium-sized South Africa-listed mining firm. Although the saga still has at least a week to run, Jinchuan swung a hefty blow this week, with a $1.3 billion bid to trump a $1.1 billion offer from Vale.
China invests $12.67 billion in Brazil
China stepped up its investments in Brazil in a big way with fresh investment of about USD 9 billion, taking its overall foreign direct investment in that country to USD 12. 67 billion as the two countries warmed up under the BRICS alliance. China will invest USD 4.5 billion in Brazil's technology sector this year shifting its investment in the Latin American country from agriculture and mining.
Brazilian minister calls for boost to Portugal-Brazil partnership for Africa
Brazil’s minister for Development, Industry and Foreign Trade, Fernando Pimentel called Thursday in Sao Paulo for a boost to the partnership between Brazil and Portugal for expanding business by the two countries in African markets. During a business lunch organised by the Portuguese Chamber of Commerce in Brazil, the minister said that the two countries could not be left out of Africa as he was convinced that it would be the stage for the great economic disputes of the 21st century, citing China’s growing presence there as an example.
Korean firms to build plants in SA
Several South Korean companies are planning to establish multibillion-rand manufacturing plants in SA, boosting the Asian manufacturing powerhouse’s presence in SA’s economy. Steel firm Posco, electronics group LG, Hankook Tyre, and Korean Trade Insurance will all set up base in Gauteng. HSG, a manufacturer of heavy metal components, has chosen Richards Bay as its regional headquarters, to target shipping.
Russia to establish diplomatic ties with South Sudan
Russia is ready to establish diplomatic relations with South Sudan after declaration of its independence, Russian Foreign Ministry's spokesman said on Thursday. "We are ready to establish diplomatic relations with the new state in Africa and in the nearest future we expect to hold substantive talks on the issue with South Sudanese representatives," the spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said.
India to continue generic drugs for HIV patients
India will not compromise on drug licensing norms and continue to produce generic drugs for free treatment to HIV positive patients, Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma said. "The government reaffirms its full commitment to ensure that quality generic medicines, including antiretroviral drugs, are seamlessly available," Sharma said at a meeting with UNAIDS executive director Michel Sidibe.
4. Blogs, Opinions, Presentations and Publications
Science in Africa: Enter the dragon
Before Emeka Oguzie went to China, he had only read about potentiostats in journals. The Nigerian materials scientist knew that he needed the electrochemical analysis tool to advance his search for indigenous plant extracts that can slow the corrosion that rots industrial machinery. But his cash-strapped department at Nigeria's Federal University of Technology in Owerri could not afford a US$25,000 piece of equipment. And his lack of skill with the device meant that scientists in the United States or Europe would not offer him a postdoc position abroad. "I had no experience with the facilities they work with," he says. Oguzie's luck turned in 2005, when he won a fellowship from the Chinese Academy of Sciences and TWAS, the academy of sciences for the developing world, to spend a postdoctoral year in China.
New dawn for Africa-India ties
Addis Ababa, the diplomatic capital of Africa, played host to Indian diplomats, businessmen, artisans and artists that were present as part of the interactions during the Second India-Africa Forum Summit. India's relations with African countries have got a boost with the various co-operation initiatives unveiled by the Indian Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh. The Prime Minister emphasized the growing importance of Africa, calling it the 'new growth pole' in the world.
China in Africa? No thanks
The Chinese “invasion” of Africa is no secret. They have come here in a big way in the past twenty years, building roads and bridges, sports stadiums, and other basic infrastructure. Now Africans are returning the favour. Whereas even two years ago African business-people would do their shopping in Dubai and Bangkok, now Dubai is the air hub where they change planes for Guangzhou, where even a Nigerian community has established itself. But will China ever replace the United States in people’s hearts, despite everything, even if it surpasses the U.S. and becomes the world’s leading economy? Highly unlikely.