Africa: Hotspot for Ningbo companies' overseas development
Africa, a continent with a population of 1.2 billion, has become a new hotspot for the international development of companies in Ningbo, Zhejiang province.
The statistics from the city's commerce department showed that in 2018, the total trade value between Ningbo and African countries topped $5.371 billion, a year-on-year increase of 22.3 percent. Of this total, the value of imported goods grew 30.3 percent to $1.292 billion while that of exported goods reached $4.079 billion, a year-on-year increase of 20 percent. From textile products to auto parts, the goods from Ningbo have gained wide popularity in Africa.
Ningbo has been making efforts from three main perspectives - building trade platforms, participating in infrastructure construction and promoting foreign trade - to promote the cooperation with Africa and to stay at the forefront of Zhejiang-Africa ties.
Benin Chinese Economic Commercial Development Center, a national aid program supported by Ningbo, is an outstanding example of the closer Ningbo-Africa partnership. According to the agreement reached between China and Benin, the center is expected to serve as a platform for trade, financing and investment which helps Chinese companies develop businesses in the West African country. To date, the center has successfully held 10 editions of the Benin Chinese Commodities Fair.
An official from Ningbo's commerce department said that as the Chinese economy is facing transformation and upgrading, more and more companies are turning their eyes to Africa, a continent rich in natural resources and human resources. "The economic and trade cooperation of Ningbo and African countries goes back a long time and is growing quite fast," he remarked.