CIIE presents huge opportunity for Africa to diversify export base -- Ethiopian scholar
8 Nov 2022


ADDIS ABABA, Nov. 3 (Xinhua) -- Africa should tap into the upcoming 5th China International Import Expo (CIIE) to diversify its export base in China and beyond across the global market, an Ethiopian scholar has said.


Costantinos Bt. Costantinos, who served as an economic adviser to the African Union (AU) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), told Xinhua in a recent interview that the CIIE presents a rare opportunity for Ethiopian and other African companies to penetrate the market opportunities in China and elsewhere.


The expert, who argued that economic and market barriers have been affecting the development performance and trajectory of Africa's export-oriented businesses, emphasized the need for African companies to diversify their export portfolio in the international market with the help of the CIIE.


"Much of the focus (at the CIIE) would be on Africa; because many African countries are now developing well, especially in terms of their GDP and industrial capacity. Therefore, this trade show would encourage Africans to look into specific companies that would help African countries develop," he said.


Costantinos further emphasized that while strengthening the market share for Africa's agricultural export commodities in the Chinese market, African companies and governments should look for other market opportunities in China besides Africa's traditional export commodities.


He said the platform is "very important" for many countries in terms of developing their trade relations with the rest of the world.

The 5th CIIE is scheduled on Nov. 5-10 in China's economic hub Shanghai. The event provides a platform for companies worldwide to display their products, promote their brands, and find more business partners in the world's second-largest economy.


Costantinos, also a professor of public policy at Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia, noted that as China is set to open up further to the world, African countries and companies should seize the chance to further penetrate the broader Chinese market.


The expert, in particular, emphasized that the CIIE would enable emerging economies in Africa and elsewhere with market opportunities in China as well as trade amongst themselves.


"Opening up is going to benefit China a lot, and it is also important in terms of South-South cooperation, where African countries, Latin American countries and Southeast Asian countries can have more access to China," he said.


The expert further underscored that Africa should prioritize China as the Chinese economy helped stabilize the global economy against the backdrop of socio-economic barriers caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the Ukrainian crisis.


"I have a firm belief that the economy in China will continue to grow in a healthy manner," he said, emphasizing the importance of China's growth in promoting development in Africa and across the developing world.


Source: Xinhua