By any measure, the DRC is one of the most difficult places on earth to do business.
Let’s put aside, for now, the problems associated with the war in the east as that’s not really the issue here.
Instead, we’re going to focus on what it actually takes to get business done in a place where there’s only a hint of a functioning government. And what little government there is corrupt beyond your wildest imagination.
Take the figures from Transparency International’s 2009 Corruptions Perception Index that puts the DRC close to the bottom of the list, just shy of Afghanistan and Somalia.
So in a place where there’s essentially no rule of law and ubiquitous corruption, how do the Chinese manage their multi-billion dollar investments in the country?
For some insights, I turned to Swedish researcher Johanna Jasson who co-authored a report for the Centre for Chinese Studies at the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa and the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative. She’s now pursuing her PhD in Denmark.
Jassen spent a considerable amount of time last year researching Chinese corporate activity in both Katanga and Lubumbashi, especially that huge 6 billion dollar Sicomines deal.
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