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China can assist Africa achieve free trade benefits – Kenyan Expert

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Economist Manyala told Xinhua in Nairobi that intra-Africa trade faces a lot of challenges partly due to the high cost of transporting goods across borders.

“China could play a crucial role in helping unlock the business potential of African Continental Free Trade Area, by helping the region bridge the huge infrastructure deficit in an affordable way,’’ Manyala said during an AfCFTA policy forum.

Manyala said that Chinese have emerged as one of the biggest financiers and contractors of road, rail and energy projects in Africa.

“Some of these infrastructure projects link neighbouring Africa countries and help to lower the cost of transport in the region,’’ he added.

He observed that lower cost of logistics will help to improve the competitiveness of products made in Africa.

According to the economist, the Chinese are also interested in setting up manufacturing facilities in Africa.

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