African trade with China is an opportunity to create regional markets, study says

5 March 2007

Lisbon, Portugal, 5 March – Increased trade with China is an opportunity for African countries to develop regional markets, despite this being increasingly politically sensitive, the director of the South African Institute of Strategic Studies (ISS) said.

“African countries cannot compete with Chinese manufactured products, but if the create larger internal markets, through free trade areas, there could be potential in the long term,” said Jakkie Cilliers, in an article published Thursday evening.

“Africa needs trade, not humanitarian aid. China, with all of its immediate self interest, is creating exactly that,” he said.

The executive director of the ISS noted, however, that development through economic growth required “a broad approach” and “internal barriers” must be overcome, “such as the efficiency of public spending,” of African nations.

Official figures point to trade between Chin and Africa having increased four-fold between 2000 and 2005, to US$39.7 billion.

The aim of the Chinese authorities is to more than double this figure by 2010, reaching US$100 billion, which is a higher figure than trade with the United States.

Angola is already one of China’s main oil suppliers, together with the Sudan. (macauhub)