A Tong Ren Tang TCM store in South Africa. (Photo/China.org.cn)
In recent years, an increasing number of Beijing companies have entered the African markets and brought with them China's best products and services to the African people in response to the Belt and Road Initiative.
BAIC's first overseas automobile plant sets up in South Africa
In 2016, Beijing Automotive Industry Corporation (BAIC) and South African Industrial Development Company jointly invested 5.5 billion yuan (US$843 million) to establish a BAIC automobile manufacturing company in South Africa and build an automobile manufacturing plant in Coega Industrial Development Zone of Port Elizabeth in South Africa. The plant stands not only as BAIC's first automobile manufacturing plant overseas, but also the largest foreign investment project in South Africa over the past 40 years. The first-phase construction of the plant will be complete in June 2018, and by then it will become a regional industrial base of BAIC covering the South African market and other major African markets with a production capacity of 40,000 to 50,000 vehicles per year. Li Xingxing, executive vice president of Beijing Automotive International Development Company Limited said he hopes that BAIC will also be able to bring its new energy products into South Africa and build up distribution channels through favorable policies in South Africa to enter European and U.S. markets.
Tong Ren Tang brings traditional Chinese medicine to South Africa
In 2016, Tong Ren Tang, a well known traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) brand in Beijing, acquired five TCM stores in South Africa and established Beijing Tong Ren Tang Chinese Medicine Company Africa Limited. So far, five stores have opened in Johannesburg, Pretoria and Durban, and the company has reached a cooperative intent with the School of Health at the University of Johannesburg to offer training courses on acupuncture. Now, the company has 22 employees, including15 local hires, and it is planning to hire prestigious TCM doctors from China. In addition, Tong Ren Tang plans to set up pharmacies and clinics in other African countries in the next three years, as well as to build factories in Africa to develop local herbal resources and produce more marketable products.
BCEG helps to construct modern airport terminal in Tanzania
Beijing Construction Engineering Group (BCEG) boasts the largest overseas business among the state-owned construction enterprises in Beijing. The new terminal of Tanzanian Zanzibar International Airport with an expected cost of US$128 million is its first airport project in a foreign market to combine design, procurement and construction.
Project Director Cheng Longhai said the construction of the roof and glass curtain walls have completed, and the whole project is expected to be finished by the first half of 2019. It is expected that by 2020, the passenger traffic will reach 1.6 million, and the volume of freight transported will reach 4,422 tons, meeting Zanzibar'sgrowing demand. The security check system, baggage sorting system, monitoring system, access control system and related equipment as well as escalators will all employ Chinese products. For the construction project, the company has also employed a large number of local workers.
According to Beijing Municipal Commission of Commerce, from 2013 to 2016, Beijing companies directly invested approximately US$1.496 billion in 31 Belt and Road countries and regions, and the figure continues to show trends of growth year by year.