On 25th April 2017, Lord Oates asked Her Majesty’s Government “what measures they intend to take to promote United Kingdom–Africa trade and development co-operation in the transitional and post-Brexit periods.” The Bishop of Southwark, the Rt Revd Christopher Chessun, asked a supplementary question:
The Lord Bishop of Southwark: The Minister may know that I am a regular visitor to Zimbabwe, where my diocese has links with four of the five Anglican dioceses there. How do Her Majesty’s Government propose to respond to the preponderance of Chinese investment both there and in other African nations, both in infrastructure and major economic undertakings?
Lord Bates: I do not think that we see investment in Africa by any country as a problem. We see a significant gap in finance and investment, which Africa needs. The gap to meet the global goals is some $2.5 trillion per year whereas aid flows amount to only some $150 billion. The gap has to be filled by private investors. We welcome them from wherever they come. As the right reverend Prelate will know, we are certainly playing our part in Zimbabwe to encourage investment and to identify investment opportunities in both directions.