BEIJING, March 18 (Xinhua) -- Vice Foreign Minister Zhai Jun on Monday urged Chinese businesses in Africa to work for mutual benefits and shared development.
Zhai made the call at a forum on Chinese businesses in Africa, which was hosted by China Public Diplomacy Association and attended by Chinese enterprises, academics, and African diplomats in Beijing.
Zhai said the Chinese government has always advocated that businesses contribute to the development of host nations through their own growth, and make their development strategies compatible with Africa's.
He added, "Making quick money and leaving is a myopic action, and 'catching fish by draining the pond' is unethical."
Zhai also called for Chinese businesses in Africa to compete with integrity and quality, respect local laws and customs, improve labor treatment and environmental protection, and enhance localization.
The China-African traditional friendship is the most valuable asset for Chinese investors, Zhai said, calling for entrepreneurs to "cherish the friendship like they cherish their eyes."
Zhai reiterated that the Chinese government will always encourage, facilitate and support businesses to invest and grow in Africa.
He also noted the "growing pains" in China-Africa economic and trade cooperation. "Although volume increased rapidly, there is not much progress in quality improvement."
Our capacity still falls short of African friends' expectations, Zhai said, adding as Chinese businesses lack experience in international operations, there is big room for improvement in terms of localization and corporate social responsibility.
China has been the largest trading partner of Africa since 2009, with China-Africa trade volume skyrocketing from 10 billion U.S. dollars in 2000 to nearly 200 billion U.S. dollars in 2012, according to the official.
Africa is China's second largest contract project market and the fourth largest investment destination. By April 2012, China's stock of direct investment to Africa reached 15.3 billion U.S. dollars, Zhai said.
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