Chinese companies help promote development of Africa

2007-12-25 01:45:00 Xinhua English

by Yu Zhongwen, Guo Chunju

CAIRO, Dec. 25 (Xinhua) -- "I'm happy working with Chinese people," Hani Ali, who has become a staff member of the Egypt Branch of China's ZTE Corporation for about two and a half years, told Xinhua in a recent telephone interview when asked how about his job.

"My Chinese colleagues are very nice and I like my job at the Chinese company," Ali said.

Ali has some 50 compatriots working for the Egypt Branch of ZTE Corporation, one of China's leading providers of telecommunication equipment and network solutions, due to a successful ZTE strategy of localization for its employees.

General manager of ZTE's Egypt Branch Sha Yanju told Xinhua that "We have more Egyptian employees than Chinese here," adding that "more than 53 percent."

Local employees amount to about two-thirds of ZTE staff in Africa, which is the result of the company's localization strategy in the continent with rich human resources.

As the relations between China and African countries have made great progress in recent years, more and more Chinese companies came to Africa for business and thus contributed to the development of African countries in various fields besides offering more job opportunities for local society.

The Nile Textile Group, which is a private company from China and located in the northern Egyptian port city of Said, some 160km northeast of Cairo, recruits some 600 Egyptian workers currently.

Li Jinglin, general manager of the textile company, said the most important contribution to the local government is the job opportunities created by his business.

Chinese companies also help speed up the development of specific industries in African countries.

Du Yibo, chief representative of China's Brilliance Automobile Co. Ltd. in Egypt, told Xinhua in a recent interview that Chinese companies in Africa are helpful for the development and improvement of the continent's industry level besides offering jobs.

Du, who has been working in Egypt for almost two years, took auto industry for example, saying Brilliance Auto has brought the Egyptian market the product specification of the Chinese company since the establishment of its assembly line in cooperation with Bavarian Auto in Egypt in March 2006.

"It's helpful for Egypt to set up its own system of product specification and industrial standards since the country lacks some criteria regarding to auto industry, such as emission standards," said Du.

In addition, some training courses provided by Chinese companies can help improve the skills of local employees in some specific sectors.

ZTE has set up more than 10 training centers in Africa during the past 10 years, offering training courses for thousands of technicians and managers of its business partners every year. Sha said ZTE not only provides training courses for its employees and client technicians, but also offers internship for college students.

"We have some 30 to 50 college students working in our Egypt Branch as interns every year," said Sha.

As the undertaker for the construction of an Egyptian remote education system based in the Educational Mubarak City in the southwest suburb of Cairo, ZTE completed the construction of the two-phase project in July and handed over the system to the Egyptian side in November 2007, after successful operation.

In the past five years since the operation of its first phase in 2002, more than 10,000 Egyptian teachers and students have benefited form the remote system, which is an educational program sponsored by the Chinese government and the biggest in the Middle East and North Africa.

"The system will play an important role for further improvement of Egypt's remote education," said Fu Hangliang, ZTE's senior account manager participated in the construction of the project.