Speaking on the panel “Africa in a global context” of the World Policy Conference in Seoul, Baroness Lynda Chalker said that Malaysia, South Africa, China and India are the largest developing country investors in Africa, measured by (“FDI”). She said that Asia-Africa economic links have been strengthened significantly in the last decade. Asian investment flows to Africa grew from 6.7 percent of total African inward FDI in 1995-1999, to 15.2 percent in 2000-2008. She said that many opportunities for cooperation exist between the two regions, including opportunities for learning.
Lady Chalker acknowledged that foreign direct investment FDI inflows from Asia to the continent are on the increase in the natural resources, infrastructure and manufacturing sectors. She pointed out that Japan, China, India and Republic of Korea are shareholders of the African Development Bank – the continent’s biggest development bank and has been very instrumental in promoting Africa’s development.
On economic cooperation between the continent and Asian countries, Baroness Chalker mentioned the various frameworks of cooperation that have been instrumental in channelling investment flows into Africa. These that include; the Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC); the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD), Korea-Africa Forum and the Africa-India Forum. These meetings have been mutually beneficial, with significant investment agreements reached.