Africa the growing economic region to watch
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Darin Tyson-Chan is a journalist with InvestorDaily, a Morningstar publication.
Sub-Saharan Africa has emerged as an economy to consider for investment opportunities, according to Rare Infrastructure investment advisory board member David Hale.
"This region has an economic growth rate of 5 per cent and some countries in it have a growth rate of nearly 7 per cent," Hale said.
The prosperity of this region has been founded on newly discovered deposits of a variety of natural resources.
"There have been in the last few years plenty of discoveries of iron ore in West Africa. It is predicted by 2020 West Africa might produce more iron ore than Western Australia," Hale said.
"There have also been oil and gas discoveries off the coast of Mozambique. There has also been a major increase in copper output in Zambia."
An indication of the sudden importance of this region has been China's involvement with these countries.
Hale said China had increased its trade with Africa from $10 billion in 2000 to $168 billion in 2011. On top of this activity, China has invested $67 billion into the region itself.
"So this is a great new opportunity for a new growth centre in the global economy," he said.
Hale was also quick to point out Australia had already recognised the investment potential of Sub-Saharan Africa and was currently playing an active role in the region.
"There are now 112 companies from Australia operating in West Africa," he said.
Most of these are in the mining sector and, according to Hale, the major mining event held in Africa this year saw 1000 attendees from Australia out of a total delegate group of 7000.
Hale is in Australia to deliver the keynote speech at this week's annual Portfolio Construction Forum Conference.