China is Africa’s biggest trading partner and pledges to boost ties

27 February 2012

Macau, China, 27 Feb – In 2011 China became Africa’s biggest trading partner, with trade of US$160 billion, and will continue to boost ties with African countries, increasing trade, investment and cooperation.

A text published this month by the economic and trade attaché for the Chinese embassy in Angola said that, “China, as the biggest developing country, and Africa, as the continent with most developing countries,” have been on “a common and highly effective pathway.”

Trade rose from US$129.6 billion in 2010 to US$160 billion last year making China, “the biggest trading partner in Africa.”

According to the text published by the Chinese embassy in Luanda, investment in Africa currently totals US$40 billion, of which US$14.7 billion was direct investment, with over 2,000 Chinese companies investing in the continent.

In development aid, “effectiveness is high,” whether that be in the construction of “schools, hospitals, roads, bridges, water supply,” or training of “specialists in agriculture, medical teams and young volunteers.”

As for the future, the aims for trade include, “promoting balance and improving quality,” opening up the markets in China to African products and, “actively applying a policy of tax exemption on products exported by Africa to China,” to encourage these exports, “especially those with more added value.”

“At the same time, China is considering carrying out exhibitions of products of Chinese brands in Africa to promote exports of more high quality products, in order to make ‘Made in China,” a designation of origin in the minds of African people,” it said.

A second aim is to, “expand investment in Africa and improve industrial capacity,” transferring, “more technology and management experience to Africa to alter ‘Made in China’ to African manufacturing thus helping African countries to increase the added value of products, train technical staff and promote local jobs.”

Chinese cooperation will continue to expand in the Agriculture, Education, Health and Human Resources sectors.

For infrastructure the aim is to encourage, “financial institutions and companies from China to take part in the construction of electricity, telecommunications, transport and other projects,” gradually improve investment, trade and the environment,” and also to promote the process of regional and economic integration.

Faced with the current global economic conditions, it says that the, “common interests and mutual necessities of China and Africa increase even more,” and the two sides are, “facing complex global challenges [but] also a rare opportunities to accelerate development.”

“The economies of China and the African countries are highly complementary and cooperation between the two sides has great prospects,” it concludes. (macauhub)