Group of business leaders inside Chinese conference hall beneath blue sign

Empowering African small businesses to access the Chinese market

30 agosto 2023
ITC News

After a pandemic-induced pause, the 3rd China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo staged a triumphant return to in-person interaction.

The event unfolded 30 June to 2 July Changsha, the capital of Hunan Province, ushering in a new era of joint efforts for African small businesses to access Chinese market.

The International Trade Centre (ITC) and the Academy for International Business Officials (AIBO) under the Ministry of Commerce of China (MOFCOM) brought 29 enterprising small businesses from 13 African nations to both join the grand stage of the China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo and to receive comprehensive training.

Modern pavilion at trade show in China
The ITC pavilion at the 3rd China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo
Photo by ITC

This dynamic initiative was supported by the Partnership for Enhancing Export Capacity of Africa to China (PEECAC) Project, supported by Hunan Province.

The African businesses spent five days on the AIBO campus in Beijing. Here, they delved deep into China’s transformative journey – from reform to opening up and economic progress. They gleaned insights into China's advantageous trade arrangements with developing nations, mastering the nuances of market supervision and regulations, deciphering customs protocols, and navigating the labyrinth of e-commerce intricacies.

These business champions then embarked on field visits, from the heartwarming case study of a Chinese village's triumph over poverty to an awe-inspiring walk along the Great Wall. Their trip culminated in an eye-opening exploration of the vast commodity market.

’Heartfelt thanks to ITC for this golden opportunity to grasp the essence of conducting business in China. AIBO's meticulous courses have been instrumental, and the volunteers' timely guidance has been invaluable. The Chinese market is a sea of possibilities, and we're eagerly anticipating deeper engagements,’ said Timothy Ssenkandwa, representing Joy Horn Crafts from Uganda.

Esthy Asante of Organic Trade and Investments (OTI) in Ghana added her appreciation. ‘The learning, networking, and cultural exchange have been invaluable. Our stay in Beijing forged friendships and insights that will propel our company forward.’

Ethiopian businessman speaks with customer over coffee stand in Chinese expo
Muluken Bolka of Bonna Coffee Processing receiving visitors at the ITC pavilion.
Photo by ITC

The Expo at Changsha wasn't merely a display – it was an immersive experience. These companies, buoyed by ITC's promotional endeavors, actively participated in targeted business matchmaking sessions. Saurav Pathak of Olam Nigeria Limited inked an $80 million long-term purchase intent with his Chinese partner. This deal unfolded amidst the orchestration of ITC and the China Chamber of Commerce of I/E of Foodstuffs, Native Produce, and Animal By-products (CFNA).

Muluken Bolka of Bonna Coffee Processing in Ethiopia also praised learning journey and the professionalism and unwavering support that he received.


About the project

The PEECAC project aims to promote economic and trade cooperation between China and Africa through participation in the CAETE and the Distribution, Trading and Processing Centre (DTPC) of Hunan Province, China. The project will support selected African countries (Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Rwanda, Uganda and Zambia) to increase export of agriculture and food products to China and attract sustainable Chinese investment with the overall objective to contribute to job creation and poverty reduction in these African countries.