Trade between China and Portuguese speaking world should reach 2009 target this year

25 August 2008

Macau, China, 25 Aug – The target of US$50 billion for trade between China and the Portuguese speaking world in 2009 should be reached this year, thanks to an almost doubling of trade during the first half.

Statistics released this month by Chinese Customs indicate that between January and June trade between the “eight” Portuguese speaking countries and China increased 91.5 percent to US$36.105 billion, with Angola and Brazil recording the most significant increases.

This increase reflects a marked acceleration in the rate of growth in trade between China and the “eight” Portuguese speaking countries, which has been increasing by around 30 percent per year.

Compared to the first six months of last year, China’s exports were up 79.9 percent to US$10.735 billion, while imports reached US$25.37 billion, up 96.9 percent.

In the period to June Brazil was clearly China’s main trade partner among the “eight”, with trade at US$21.42 billion, up 78.4 percent compared with the same period last year.

China is one of Brazil’s main trade partners, and for Chinese goods and services Brazil represents the biggest Latin American market.

Brazilian export agency, Apex Brasil, predicts that trade between the two countries, where Brazilian raw materials and Chinese consumable goods weigh heavily, will double over the next five years.

Yet in the first half of this year, the biggest trade increase between China and the “eight”, without considering the less significant totals of Sao Tome and Principe, was recorded with Angola – over 137 percent, to US$13.346 billion.

Chinese exports to Angola rose 130.3 percent, to US$1.168 billion, while Angolan exports of goods and services to China reached US$12.178 billion, a 137.8 percent increase on the same period last year.

Angolan exports to China are made up essentially of petroleum, while Chinese products are mainly building materials, machines, cars and consumables.

Between 2003 and 2006, trade between China and Portuguese-speaking countries more than tripled to a total of US$34 billion at the end of 2006.

Last year, this increase was 46.9 percent.

The increase in trade value, linked to a greater number of transactions and also to a rise in the price of raw materials, leads to the prediction that the target agreed between the “eight” and China of trade to the value of US$ 50 billion in 2009, will be reached this year.

Among other Portuguese speaking countries, significant increases in trade in the first half of the year are with Sao Tome and Principe (97.4 percent) and Mozambique (35.1 percent).

It was mainly Chinese exports that increased in trade with Sao Tome (94.3 percent, to US$860,000) and also with Mozambique (59.8 percent, to US$105,080).

In trade with Guinea Bissau it was mainly Chinese imports that grew – 368.3 percent, although this was to just US$690,000.

With Chinese exports showing a slight fall, trade between the two countries rose 17percent on the same period last year.

Portugal remains China’s third biggest trade partner among the “eight”, with Chinese exports up 18 percent and imports down 33.3 percent, in a trade balance already clearly favourable to China.

In total Chinese-Portuguese trade remained at US$1.145 billion, 6.7 percent up on the same period last year.

Less positive was the development of trade with Cape Verde (down 3.4 percent) and particularly with East Timor (down 43.1 percent).

In the case of Cape Verde, trade did not exceed US$7.47 million, and of East Timor, US$2.93 million. In both cases trade was almost entirely Chinese exports to these two island countries. (macauhub)