Africans living in Guangzhou. (File photo from thepaper.com)
Guangzhou as an “El Dorado” for Africans
Professor Mao Guomin of the Guangdong University of Foreign Studies (GDUFS) describes Guangzhou as an “El Dorado” for Africans—63.1% of the 13.1 thousand Africans in Guangzhou are involved in commercial activities.
With a good environment, high openness to the outside world and in particular a small-commodity market that provides a full range of goods at lower prices and offers higher profits, Guangzhou has attracted many African businessmen for over 20 years.
Professor Zhang Zhenjiang and Post-Dr. Niu Dong of Jinan University (JNU) believe that Guangzhou, as an important international port city and center of transportation, logistics, goods and information, provides business opportunities and serves as a perfect transfer city for African businesspeople.
Furthermore, living in Guangzhou, a city near Hong Kong and Macao, can reduce the transportation cost needed for the renewal of the China business visa (M visa).
According to Professor Zhou Daming and Dr. Zhou Aihua of the Sun Yat-sen University (SYSU), most Africans own small or medium-sized enterprises back in Africa set up for China-Africa trade. They stay in Guangzhou for a month and return home after purchasing large quantities of goods including low-end electronics, textiles, and construction materials, etc.
Some stay here for temporary transit and leave after purchasing small quantities of goods.
Others staying in Guangzhou for more than 3 months are on long-term business postings for major African multinational corporations, or have their own companies registered in Guangzhou. Some of these Africans even got married or gained residency in China.