NCIB International conference: China, the EU and the US in Africa: Cooperation? Competition? Coopetition? What’s in it for African economic and business development?

Catégories : Actualités


NCIB International conference


China, the EU and the US in Africa: Cooperation? Competition? Coopetition? What’s in it for African economic and business development?


Organised by NEOMA Confucius Institute for Business in collaboration with NEOMA Euro-Asia Institute-EASI, Nankai University Business School and China Chamber of Commerce to the EU

Media partner: China Daily

Paris, 21 November 2019


In September 2018, at the opening ceremony of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), the Chinese president Xi Jinping announced that China will provide another US$60 billion within next 3 years to finance Africa. In recent years, China has intensified its engagement in Africa and by the end of 2018, its trade with Africa reached US$204 billion and ranked as the second largest trade partner of Africa after the EU (US$280 billion in 2017) and far ahead of the US (US$62 billion in 2018). Although the EU and the US still lead China in foreign direct investment in Africa (i.e. US$280 and US$50 billion as compared to US$43 billion in stock in 2017), China’s FDI in Africa has doubled during the period of 2013-2017, while both the US and the EU recorded a rapid decline during the same period. Within the Belt and Road Initiatives (BRI), China has intensified its investment in African infrastructure and industrial capabilities. According to a field study of McKinsey in 2007, Chinese private companies and entrepreneurs have established more than 10 000 manufacturing plants in Africa to reshape the continent to “the next factory of the world”.

Facing China’s growing engagement in Africa, both the EU and the US have recently updated their African strategy. In September 2018, Junker unveiled the EU’s Africa plan and promised to provide US$46 billion in grants over the seven years from 2021 to deepen economic relations and boost investment and job creation in Africa (BBC, 12/09/2018). In June 2019, Trump administration announced its ‘Prosper Africa’ strategy with an initial program of US$50 million to offer technical supports to US companies in Africa (The Washington Post, 19/06/2019). Although the perception and perspective of the EU and the US towards Africa are quite different, their renewed strategy are both implicitly or explicitly intended to counter the rise of China in Africa.

While Africa is emerging as the next powerhouse for economic growth, the interest of both new and traditional “donors” in the continent has blossomed to enhance their political and economic influence. Africa has also become a new frontier for both emerging and western multinational companies to reshape their global market and supply chain. Yet, African countries are still facing big challenges to take-off and catch-up in this globalization process, especially regarding to their poor communication and transportation infrastructure, weak industrial capabilities, lack of skilled labor, deprived education and health-care system, etc.

Against the above background, and especially with growing Chinese engagement in Africa within its Belt and Road Initiative, this conference, organized by the Confucius Institute for Business at NEOMA Business School, in collaboration with China Chamber of Commerce to the EU, NEOMA Euro-Asia Centre and Nankai University, will bring a number of European, African and Chinese policy makers, scholars and business executives together to debate on the following questions:

  •       What are the convergence and divergence of the EU, the US and China’s interests and strategy towards emerging Africa? and what’s in it for Africa?
  •       What are their impacts on the emergence of Africa as the next powerhouse for global growth, especially in enhancing the industrial capability of African countries and to bring them into development catching-up process?
  •       What are the specific features of Chinese, European and US investment in Africa? And how they are linked to African companies in their global value chain?
  •       How Chinese, European and US companies are reshaping Africa and bring the continent into the next “world factory”?
  •       Are there possibilities for Chinese, European and US companies to leverage on their specific advantages and cooperate in Africa?
  •       What are the challenges for African, European, Chinese and US governments and businesses to enhance cooperation, rather than confrontation in Africa?



NEOMA Business School – Paris Campus (9 Rue d’Athènes, 75009 Paris)

Thursday, 21 November 2019




Welcome speech by Celine Davesne, Associate dean, NEOMA Business School – Confucius Institute for Business


Keynote speech:
Prof. Dr. Rhys Jenkins, University of East Anglia (Author of “How China is Reshaping the Global Economy: Development Impacts in Africa and Latin America”
Mrs. Zhou Lihong Chairman of Bank of China (Luxembourg)


Policy Panel, chaired by Mr. Chen Weihua – Deputy Chief of China Daily EU Bureau
Dr. David Monyae, director of the Centre for Africa-China Studies at the University of Johannesburg
Prof. Dr. Rhys Jenkins, University of East Anglia


Coffee break


Business Panel, chaired by Prof. Dr. Sharam ALIJANI, NEOMA
Mrs. Han Shuo, chief representative of HUAWEI France
Mrs. Xu Jiahui Deputy Manager of administration, CGN China General Nuclear Power Corporation
Mrs. Zhou Lihong Chairman of Bank of China (Luxembourg)


Closing session


Networking Cocktail


Key-note Speakers

Rhys Jenkins, Professor of Development Economics at the School of International Development, University of East Anglia, Norwich

Rhys Jenkins is Professor of Development Economics at the School of International Development, University of East Anglia. Norwich. He is the author of How China is Reshaping the Global Economy: Development Impacts in Africa and Latin America (Oxford University Press, 2018). He has spent more than a decade researching China’s impact on the Global South and published articles on China’s involvement in Latin America and in Africa in journals including World Development, the Journal of Development Studies, Third World Quarterly, Latin American Perspectives, and the Journal of Asian Economies. He has written or edited ten books and published over fifty journal articles. He has also acted as a consultant for UNCTAD, UNIDO and the UK Department for International Development.


Lihong Zhou, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Bank of China (Luxembourg)

Lihong Zhou joined Bank of China Anhui Branch in 1984, and transferred to Bank of China Head Office in Beijing in 1987. From 1987 to 2005, she held various positions at the Head Office, including the position as Manager of the Credit Department, Manager of the Banking Department, and Deputy General Manager of the Non-Performing Assets Management Department. From 2005 to 2013, she served as Deputy General Manager of Bank of China Luxembourg, in-charge of various departments. From June 2013 to September 2018, she served as General Manager in-charge the overall operation of Bank of China Limited Luxembourg Branch and Bank of China (Luxembourg) S.A. Since September 2018, she continues to serve as General Manager of Bank of China Limited Luxembourg Branch, and has been elected as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Bank of China (Luxembourg) S.A.


Chairs and Panelists

David Monyae, Co-Director of the Confucius Institute and the Centre for Africa-China Studies in the University of Johannesburg

Dr David Monyae is Co-Director of the Confucius Institute and the Centre for Africa-China Studies in the University of Johannesburg. An international relations and foreign policy expert, he holds a PhD in International Relations from the University of Witwatersrand. He previously served as Section Manager: International Relations Policy Analysis at the South African Parliament, providing strategic management, parliamentary foreign policy formulation, and monitoring and analysis services. Prior to that he served as Policy Analyst at the Development Bank Southern Africa (DBSA), where he undertook extensive research on Regional Economic Communities (RECS) in Africa, with a special focus on infrastructure investment opportunities for the DBSA. He also designed and launched the DBSA’s Policy Briefs and Working Papers, and represented the Bank on major infrastructure projects in Africa. He also formed part of the South African academic delegations at meetings of the India, Brazil, and South Africa (IBSA) Dialogue Forum in 2010 and the Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) summits in Beijing in 2011, New Delhi in 2012, and Durban in 2013. For nine years prior to that he lectured on South African foreign policy and African international relations at the University of the Witwatersrand. He has published widely and is a respected political analyst, featuring in the national and international media.


Chen Weihua, Chief of China Daily EU Bureau, Brussels

Chen Weihua is chief of China Daily EU Bureau based in Brussels (since Nov 2018), with responsibility of covering EU and its 27 member states. He was the chief Washington correspondent (2013-18) and chief New York correspondent (2009-13) and Deputy Editor of China Daily USA (2009-18). He is also a columnist for the newspaper.
He was a Knight Fellow at Stanford University from 2004 to 2005, a World Press Institute Fellow based at Macalester College in Minnesota in 1998, and a Freedom Forum Fellow at the University of Hawaii at Manoa in 1993-1994.
Chen Weihua joined China Daily in 1987 after graduating from Fudan University in Shanghai with degrees in Microbiology and International Journalism.
He has appeared on CCTV/CGTN, ABC, Al Jazeera, NPR, KQED, and talked to groups such as the Brookings board delegation, Indian Young Entrepreneurs Delegation, and at Columbia University and Hofstra University.


Linda Han, Vice President, Public Affairs of Huawei
Chief Representative, Huawei Paris Office

Linda HAN joined Huawei France in July 2019 as Chief Representative of the Paris office, and vp of the public affairs department.
Prior to moving to Paris, Linda served as General Secretary in Huawei’s HR department, where she was responsible for leading the company’s human resources transformation efforts. Previously, she worked on Huawei’s Committee of the Regions, where she helped coordinate Huawei’s leadership initiatives in more than 170 countries and regions.

Linda has extensive international management experience. She was Managing Director of Huawei Botswana, Huawei Madagascar and Huawei Maurice, Deputy Managing Director of Huawei Côte d’Ivoire, and Managing Director of Huawei Burkina Faso. She joined Huawei in 2007 and rose through the ranks in many areas, including marketing and sales, human resources management and public affairs. Linda is a graduate of Nankai University and received her MBA from Peking University.


Jiahui Xu, Deputy manager of administration, CGN China General Nuclear Power Corporation









Haiyan Zhang, Director of NEOMA Confucius Institute for Business

Dr. Haiyan Zhang is professor at NEOMA Business School and director of the NEOMA Confucius Institute for Business. He holds a MA and a Ph.D. in public administration and Management from the University of Antwerp. His research interests include international business activities of Chinese and overseas Chinese owned enterprises, management issues of international joint ventures in transition economies, high-tech industrial agglomeration in China, Chinese outward FDI in Europe, EU-China FDI relations, etc. He has published in journals such as the Management International Review and has contributed to books on foreign direct investment in China and the internationalisation of Chinese multinational enterprises.
He has consulted for trade associations, government institutions and multinational companies on various topics, such as US direct investment in Belgium, strategic management of bilateral cooperation with Chinese local authorities, merger and acquisition in China, etc. He has often participated in high level debates about EU-China investment relationship at EU institutions and think tank organizations. He has been also interviewed by a large number of Chinese, Belgian and international newspapers and Radio and TV channels, such as People’s China, Trends, New York Times, China Radio International, Euro News, European Parliament TV, etc.



Contact : Lotta Mandeville
Tel: 02 76 00 06 28