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Posts Tagged ‘China’
(English) Q&A with Charlie Dou, author of Micro-Hydro Power case study in China

(English) Turning Agricultural Waste into Bioenergy in China: New GIM Case Study Released

Désolé, cet article est seulement disponible en English.

GIM / BCtA sessions at the China-Africa Business Council

Between 7-11 September2009 Henry Jackelen, Director of UNDP Private Sector Division; Natalie Africa, Program Manager for Business Call to Action; and Sahba Sobhani, Program Manager for Growing Inclusive Markets Initiative travelled to Beijing for a dual launch of the Growing Inclusive Markets (GIM) report and the Business Call to Action (BCtA) in China. The GIM/BCtA workshop was organized by the UNDP office in Beijing and the China-Africa Business Council (CABC) and attended by nearly 30 companies, members of the CABC.

CABC Workshop – 8 September 2009
Opening remarks
The workshop was opened by Khalid Malik, UN Resident Coordinator in China, and by Ms. Annie Wu, the Vice Chairman of the China-Africa Business Council (CABC). The CABC was set up in 2005 with support of UNDP and promotes China-Africa business cooperation. Mr. Malik emphasized that the BCtA and GIM advocate going beyond a “charity” or CSR approach by business, and that the CABC can promote this new approach through its activities.
Henry Jackelen, the Director for UNDP’s Private Sector, pointed out that Chinese companies have been successful investors in poor regions of China as well as Africa, and would therefore be able to demonstrate interesting models of inclusive business practices. Africa represents an untapped market which can be developed with Chinese ingenuity.

GIM presentation
Sahba Sobhani, the GIM Program Manager, presented the GIM report and methodology, noting that China was the 45th country in which the report has now been launched. The report, translated in Chinese, was presented through a slide presentation that featured the two Chinese companies case studied in the GIM report, Huatai (paper) and Tsingha Tonfang (affordable computers).

BCtA presentation
Natalie Africa, Business Call to Action Program Manager gave a slide presentation to explain the objectives of the BCtA, the value add to companies of being involved, and the types of initiatives that were currently being implemented. She emphasized the importance of ensuring a diversity of BCtA companies, including companies from the South and China in particular, given the expanding role of the Chinese private sector.

Q & A
Comments and questions from the audience were diverse and included:

  • The China Development Bank has recently established a China-Africa Development Fund that will help finance pioneering companies doing business in Africa, particularly SMEs who cannot raise collateral for business ventures.
  • Would it not be easier to simply give money to the poor, rather than spending money on financing the private sector in the hope that it will “trickle down” to the poor?
  • What is the difference between the BCtA and the UN Global Compact?
  • Success of the private sector in China is due to PPPs, where state owned enterprises and local governments invest in infrastructure which allows private sector to then set up successful business. This lesson should be taken to Africa.
  • Housing Project – would UNDP be able to assist in helping a Chinese business currently investing in middle-incoming housing in Africa to downscale into low income housing and thus incorporate a BoP business model?
  • There is sometimes complacency amongst Africans in terms of investing in infrastructure – perhaps because there is so much natural wealth there. Chinese model of PPPs should be explored.
  • Local manufacturing is an important means to create employment and transfer of skills and technology in Africa, but financing for African SMEs is often inadequate, prohibiting them from capitalizing manufacturing investments.