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Chinese agribusiness company in DR Congo
to offer thousands of jobs for locals       Updated: 2009-07-10 14:31

KINSHASA, July 10 (Xinhua) -- China's ZTE Agribusiness Company Ltd is aiming at a 1 million hectare palm tree plantation in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo) for biofuel production, and the project can offer thousands of jobs for the local people, the company's regional manager Zhang Peng told Xinhua in an interview on Friday.

  "We will plant palm trees here and convert palm oil into biodiesel. The one-million-hecatre palm plantation will eventually provide thousands of jobs for the local Congolese people," Zhang said.

 ZTE, an IT company from China, is expanding to the biodiesel sector to diversify its operations. The regional manager said that weather conditions in the DR Congo is very suitable for growing palm trees, which are cultivated for palm oil.

 "Indonesia and Malaysia are traditionally major producers of palm oil, but after research we found that weather conditions herein the DR Congo is also very suitable for growing palm trees," he said.

   Biodiesel has emerged as a big business amid strained energy supply worldwide, and palm trees could be a fair solution to ease the industrial world's thirst for energy.

   According to Zhang, one hectare of palm tree plantation could yield five tons of palm oil, while some 90 percent of the palm oil could be converted to biodiesel.

  Once completed, this project can not only satisfy the energy needs of DR Congo's industries, but also offer the Congolese lots of job opportunities.

  "Palm tree plantation needs a lot of labor work, and we are going to hire workers locally. So the entire plantation will hire thousands of local workers," said the manager.

This kind of investment has benefited the DR Congo government and people a lot. DR Congo's government spokesman Lambert Mende told Xinhua on Thursday that China's collaboration DR Congo in such fields as infrastructure, education and energy development are beneficial to the African country.

  He said the the DR Congo government is satisfied with cooperation with the Chinese side and reiterated the government's determination to stick to the cooperative ties with China.

China and the DR Congo have carried out a number of cooperation projects in such fields as infrastructure, education and energy sector, bringing benefits for both countries and their peoples.

 The ZTE Agribusiness regional manager expressed gratitude to the DR Congo government's spport for facilitating investment here, and voiced optimism for the future of Sino-Congolese

Editor: Wang Hongjiang