Economic slow-down in China, not a cause for concern - Minister Ncube

by Ashely Kondo

The Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Professor Mthuli Ncube, has said that Zimbabwe and the rest of the African continent should not worry about the slow-down in the Chinese economy.

He made the remarks during an interview with Bloomberg TV on the side-lines of the ongoing United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) 73rd Summit being held in New York, United States (US).

Over the years, China has sought and exploited investment opportunities across the world, at the back of a growing economy.

However, since 2017, China’s economy has slowed down from a 6.9 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2017 to 6.8 percent in the first quarter of 2018.

Future projections estimate the growth to moderate around 6.5 percent by year end, and 6.5 percent in the next two years.

In the first week of September, China hosted the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) Summit which has been described by many as an expatiation of the broad opportunities for cooperation between Africa and China.  

It has been noted that China has shifted its investment focus to the African continent. 

Responding to whether Zimbabwe was worried by a “significant slowdown in China”, Prof Ncube indicated that Zimbabwe would not be moved by the global powerhouse’s decreasing GDP.

“Not a significant slowdown, our prognosis like everyone else is that growth will slow down to about 6.5 percent…that is still adequate to support the flow of investment into Africa and to support global  commodity prices, at least the ones that impact Africa” he said.

Prof Ncube also refuted claims that China was moving to capture African commodity assets through deals with member States.

“The Chinese investment in Africa has been welcome. Chinese are investing everywhere, all over the world, including the purchase of US treasury bills and other investments.

“The issue really is, whether African countries can negotiate better deals for themselves, transparent deals for themselves and control the level of indebtedness that some may experience against China,” added Prof Ncube.