Beijing, China, 27 June – Beijing Tuesday created a US$1 billion fund to finance trade and investment of Chinese companies in Africa and to consolidate its position as one of the continent’s privileged trading partners.
The plans for creating the China-Africa Development Fund were announced in May during the annual meeting of the African Development Bank (ADB) in Shanghai, China’s financial center.
China’s Development Bank, which is owned by the Chinese government, will finance the China-Africa Development Fund and may increase its value to up to US$5 billion.
International critics have accused China of using Africa merely as a source of mineral resources and raw materials to feed Chinese economic growth and have denounced Beijing’s support of political regimes involved in human rights violations.
China’s main investment on the African continent continue to be in the oil sector, in countries such as Angola, Algeria, Chad, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Nigeria, Zambia and the Sudan.
In 2006 Angola overtook South Africa as China’s biggest trading partner in Africa, with bilateral trade of US$11.8 billion.
Following Saudi Arabia, Angola was China’s second-largest supplier of oil in 2006, having exported 23.45 million tons of crude oil, according to the Chinese Trade Ministry.
Figures from the ADB have shown that trade between Africa and China has risen sharply over the last few years, moving from US$10 billion in 2000 to US$40 billion in 2006. (macauhub)