By Xinhua writers Shen Anni and
Zhang Jianhua GUANGZHOU China (Xinhua) --
Felly Mwamba has traveled so frequently
since he first came to China in 2003 that he is on his
businessman, who is from the Democratic Republic of the
Congo in central Africa has been the representative of
the African Business Freight Guangzhou Office for 13
still many opportunities in China. It is a very large
market. I am currently thinking about what new
opportunities there are for me here,” he said, adding
that he wanted to stay “as long as possible”.
Chinese economy expanding steadily over the past
decades,Guangzhou, which is close to China’s
manufacturing heartland, has emerged as a trade hub for
foreign business people. The provincial capital has one
of the largest African communities in Asia. There are
around 30,000 Africans in Guangzhou, according to police
records, but researchers believe their population far
he was inspired by the dynamic environment.
“When I came
to China I found there was a world of opportunities to
do business so I decided to stay here,” he said.
visited many factories in China and has a wealth of
experience in selling and shipping electronics,
furniture and construction materials to Congo, Angola
and other parts of Africa.
business was good, I could ship five to 10 containers
each month,” he said.
years, however, the business has changed, and two of his
four employees have quit.
“I have been
mainly doing international trade to Africa, but the
economy in some African countries is not so stable,” he
said. “Living expenses and labor costs here in Guangzhou
are also rising.”
increasing pressure, Mwamba said he never thought about
leaving China. “I believe things will get better and I
still have hope, so I am not afraid.”
is mulling the possibility of extending business to
Canada and the United States.
“When I was
in North America, I went to a lot of shopping malls and
many products there were ‘Made in China’.”
the chairman of the Congolese Community in China, an
organization with over 1,200 members.
organization, he said, aimed to maintain good
relationships among the Congolese and between their
community and other people in China.
helped its members understand Chinese laws, and share
people with visa problems, money problems, translation
problems. Some just need advice about business,” Mwamba
quite different when Mwamba first arrived in China. He
did not know a single word of Chinese, but managed to
learn the language within a year by socializing.
live here, you just have to love this place, work hard
and make friends. Like the saying, ‘with more friends,
life is flexible’ ,” he explained.
Lunde-Okulungu, the secretary of the Congolese Community
in China, said he has learned a lot from living and
doing business in China.
Lunde-Okulungu, 34, lives with his wife and two children
in Guangzhou. He came to China in 2007 and has set up a
printing business in Guangzhou that produces books,
magazines and T-shirts for the African market.
He said he
was impressed that many Chinese, even those who were
very wealthy, tended to live frugal lives.
know how to save money. They can get rich because they
know how to use money,” he said.
Mwamba, Lunde-Okulungu did not intend to live abroad
forever. With improving infrastructure, cheaper land and
labor back in Africa, he always keeps an eye out for
opportunities in his own country.
He said his
experience in China is valuable for his future business.
“When I go
back to my country, I know I will have more choices,” he
Minister Wang Yi made Africa his first overseas
destination in 2017, following a diplomatic tradition
going back nearly three decades.
December 2015 to July 2016, agreements worth over 50
billion dollars were signed in various fields between
China and Africa, Wang said.
At the 2015
Johannesburg Summit of the Forum on China-Africa
Cooperation, China committed to a 60-billion-dollar fund
that would deepen its relationship with Africa over the
next three years.