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American Firms Participating with China in Africa Infrastructure Development Plan

July 12, 2018 (EIRNS)—Although the United States government has not endorsed China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), a few large American companies are participating with China-led projects in Africa, according to a report yesterday in the Brookings Institution “Africa in Focus” by Yun Sun. As early as 2015, GE partnered with China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC) on the Kipeto wind farm in Kenya, for which GE provides machinery, equipment, tech support, and training. CMEC, however, is the project contractor, Yun Sun reported, meaning the project is not strictly speaking a Chinese project.

But, more recently, GE has been working with China’s state-owned Power Construction Corporation of China (PowerChina) to build power plants and grids in African countries such as Nigeria. In November 2017, the two companies launched a roadshow in Nigeria, Ethiopia, and Kenya.

In addition to GE, Caterpillar sees BRI as a key growth area for the sales of its construction machinery. Caterpillar has built one of the world’s largest construction machinery factories in the city of Xuzhou, China, to meet the rising demand from the BRI. Its equipment has appeared in multiple Chinese construction sites in Africa, including the Abidjan port of Cote d’Ivoire, road projects in Ethiopia and Senegal, and the Lower Kafue Gorge in Zambia. Another American company, Honeywell, has identified collaboration with Chinese contractors to develop third party market as a top priority and, according to the CEO of Honeywell China Bin Shen, the company has participated in more than 20 Chinese overseas engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) projects in the past 20 years, including in Africa, Yun wrote.

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