In the wake of the tremendous White House welcome and state visit of President Hu Jintao of China to Washington, D.C. and Chicago, IL, President Barack Obama was successful in continuing to improve the overall relations between the United States and China.
By Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr.
In the wake of the tremendous White House welcome and state visit of President Hu Jintao of China to Washington, D.C. and Chicago, IL, President Barack Obama was successful in continuing to improve the overall relations between the United States and China. It is strategically important for African American business leaders to explore ways and means to develop and expand economic ties with China. Timing is important. We should not take for granted what is happening throughout the world in 2011, when it comes to doing business with China.
In particular, the Black American business community should always be seeking new opportunities to expand and grow. If we are ever going to get the majority of African Americans out of poverty, it will be through education and economic empowerment. The world is changing to enhance international trade and commerce. African American spending power as consumers is a trillion dollars annually. We buy a massive amount of products that are made in China. It is past time for us to see our situation differently from an economic perspective.
The truth is Chinese business leaders are eager and interested in developing joint business ventures with African American business leaders. Beyond being consumers, we should be ready to move more to be in the productive side of the U.S. and global economy. What better place in the world would it be for African Americans and other minorities to do business than in one of the world’s rising economic powers? Today, China is also the leading trading partner for all of Africa. African business owners are finding profitable success through numerous joint ventures with their Chinese counterparts.
I encourage many of the existing African American Chambers of Commerce in Los Angeles, Houston, Chicago, New York, Georgia, Florida and in other cities across the United States to accelerate their outreach to China. President Obama has opened the business development door wider than ever before for new business proposals and ventures to be established with Chinese business leaders. It is urgent, therefore, for African Americans to be at the forefront in seeking out these real opportunities.
In all of the leading economies in Africa, China has emerged as a reliable and substantial business partner. South Africa’s first African billionaire is Patrice Tihopane Motsepe, whose business interests span a wide array of diverse ventures including African Rainbow Minerals that has done extremely well in gold, ferrous metals, base metals, and platinum. Chinese business leaders have reached out to Motsepe on a number of ventures in South Africa and throughout other regions of the continent of Africa.
Champion Motors International, Inc (Chamotor) is headquartered in Sunrise, FL and led by Philippe Lenoir. Chamotor has regional offices in South Africa and in China. Chamotor China has manufacturing plants in six different provinces of China. Chamotor is now a global business and is a leading manufacturer and distributor of high quality mass transit vehicles and industrial equipment. Chamotor’s main product line includes luxury coach and urban buses, light duty commercial and heavy industrial trucks, electric vehicles as well as a line of construction and agriculture equipment. Chamotor’s manufacturing capabilities are based on a strategic joint venture partnership in China.
Dr. Willie Wilson, owner of Chicago’s Omar Medical Supplies company, is another success model of how an African American businessman in the United States established a multi-million dollar business venture with China. I know Dr. Willie Wilson personally and he is a visionary business leader who has a genius for entrepreneurship. Dr. Wilson is role model not only for business success, but also for giving back to the African American and other communities. In fact, Dr. Wilson was somewhat ahead of the pack because he has been building factories and working with China for many years.
I salute brothers Motsepe, Lenoir, and Wilson for their business success and for their leadership building strong bridges of economic development with China that has in turn helping to improve the quality of life in Africa and in the African American community. The NNPA readers should spread this word. China is a new economic power base for African people. Let’s hope that these new business opportunities in China will help us to have a stronger hand in ending poverty in our communities.
Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis Jr. is Senior Strategic Advisor for the Black Alliance for Educational Options (BAEO) and President of Education Online Services Corporation.