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China Daily Website

Firms 'must foster' jobs abroad

Updated: 2013-08-28 23:21
By DING QINGFEN ( China Daily)
A report issued last year by several ministries, including the Ministry of Commerce, said that in 2011, Chinese companies with overseas operations paid local taxes of more than $22 billion and created jobs for as many as 1.22 million people, including 888,000 local jobs.

"There are good examples already, but we need more," said Wei.

In Africa, China's leading telecommunications firms Huawei Technologies Co Ltd and ZTE Corp combined have employed more than 37,000 local employees at different levels, including management positions.

But the process also involves companies without a global reputation.

The Shandong-based StarTimes, a private company that focuses on foreign projects in the radio and TV industry, has employed 3,000 African people in 13 African countries, although it only entered Africa three years ago.

"Localization and recruiting as many local employees as possible are becoming increasingly important as China enhances its global presence. Local workers are much cheaper, and above all, those efforts will help China to win more recognition and get more deals worldwide," said Zha Changmiao, deputy director-general of the enterprise culture department of China Communications Construction Co Ltd.

The company has projects valued at $20 billion under construction in more than 30 African nations, including roads, ports, bridges, railways, airports and housing. It currently employs 50,000 local employees in Africa.

The continent is becoming a hotspot for Chinese investors, and the country has greatly boosted its presence in Africa since the beginning of the new century.

China overtook the US as Africa's largest trading partner in 2009, a report by the US Government Accountability Office showed. And according to Chinese data, Sino-African trade has already hit $200 billion, from less than $1 billion in 1992.

"But while China's economic relations and trade with foreign countries improve, Chinese companies still have room for improvement when it comes to addressing the local communities' concerns and creating more jobs abroad," said Wei.

A recent report by the United Nations' Economic Commission for Africa highlighted the risk that the continent's relationship with China could hamper its efforts to industrialize.

Meanwhile, China has been granting loans to Africa. The China Import-Export Bank is the continent's largest creditor and earlier this year, China pledged additional loans worth $20 billion over the next three years.

During a six-day African visit in March, President Xi Jinping stressed the need for win-win partnerships by saying that "the development of China will be an unprecedented opportunity for Africa, and Africa's development will be the same for my country."



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