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China to offer Africa US$10 billion

Chinese Premier
Wen Jiabao
Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt — MININGREVIEW.COM — 09 November 2009 – China will offer Africa US$10 billion (R80 billion) in preferential loans over the next three years to develop infrastructure “’ a development which is expected to be of particular benefit to mining projects on the continent.

Making this announcement in an address to delegates to the conference of the Forum on China Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) here, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said the loans would mainly target infrastructure and social programmes.

China will also open its markets to goods from African countries, the government-run China Daily newspaper reports.

FOCAC “’ created in 2000 “’ includes China and 39 African countries. China has been making a drive to invest in minerals and energy in Africa, as well as to expand the African market for its burgeoning exports. By the end of 2008 China had invested US$7.8 billion in Africa.

“China’s importance for Africa goes beyond just numbers on investment and trade,” said Razia Khan, head of Africa economic research at Standard Chartered Plc, in a phone interview with Bloomberg News from London. “China has been a key driver in the resurgence in investor interest in frontier markets in Africa.”