A group, African Friends of China, with headquarters in China and Nigeria, seeks to create a network of African and Chinese businesses, traders and investors with a view to opening them up to opportunities in Africa and China.
The president of the association, Fred Ogwazu, disclosed this in an interview with our correspondent on the sidelines of the launch of the initiative.
He said, ?It is about creating a network and bringing people together because the Chinese believe that friendship should precede business; so they will always like to be your friend before they do business with you.
?China has invested a lot in Africa but there is currently a trade imbalance between Africa and China and that is what this association intends to correct.
?We intend to work more on Africans to begin to see export opportunities in China. In most African countries currently, there is scarcity of foreign exchange because Africans are import-dependent. In a space of two years, we are looking at a 50 per cent increase in trade relations between Africa and China.?
According to the association, the objective of the initiatives includes: connecting investors to opportunities through the provision of timely information on developmental opportunities available in China and Africa; working towards change of perception on products and services exchange between the nation of China and Africa; providing a platform that will ensure that every member has the opportunity of visiting at least one important historical site in China in his lifetime.
The AFOC is also advocating the teaching of Chinese language in all secondary schools across Africa. ?AFOC has concluded plans to commence teaching of Chinese language in some designatedcentres across the continent in order to enable our teeming businessmen and women to learn the language with ease, a statement from the group indicated.