Since China became Africa’s largest trading partner in 2009, trade has continued to flourish, aided by cooperative frameworks put in place by the Chinese government and its African counterparts. The momentum is expected to build over the medium term, and the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Co-operation in September is likely to help ensure that these increasingly close economic ties become even closer.
Five of the six Portuguese-speaking African countries are on the list of 44 states that have subscribed to the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) project, which received a generally positive reception from civil society.
Trade between China and the Portuguese-speaking countries has increased 11-fold since Forum Macau was set up in 2003, and the Forum has played a “very important role” in Chinese globalisation, said China’s Deputy Minister of Commerce.
The growing adoption of China’s currency by central banks was advocated at a forum on foreign reserve management in Southern Africa held in Harare, Zimbabwe, with the participation of 14 countries in the region, including Angola and Mozambique.
China’s direct investment in Portuguese-speaking countries has reached US$$50 billion, Macau Forum Secretary-General Xu Yingzhen said in an interview with local Portuguese-language newspaper Tribuna de Macau.
Angola and Mozambique, the two largest Portuguese-speaking African economies, are facing high short-term economic and political challenges, according to the Bertelsmann Foundation Transformation Index (BTI 2018).
Mozambique is facing a difficult economic and financial situation, but in the next few years, companies will have funds from international institutions for economic diversification projects, according to the latest Africa Report on the country.
China is now the largest financier and builder of infrastructure in Mozambique, and built the Maputo-Catembe bridge, the Maputo circular road, National Road 6 and the fishing port of Beira city, said the ambassador of China to the country, in statements made in Maputo to Macao magazine.
São Tomé and Príncipe, Guinea Bissau and Cabo Verde (Cape Verde), the three smallest Portuguese-speaking African economies, are expected to see economic growth in 2018 well above the average for the sub-Saharan Africa region, according to the latest forecast from the International Monetary Fund.
Business projects involving China and Portuguese-speaking countries have been receiving official Chinese funding, but the deepening of this cooperation in the “era” of the New Silk Road requires innovative financial mechanisms, the president of the Fund for Cooperation and Development between China and the Portuguese-speaking Countries said in Lisbon.
Since China became Africa’s largest trading partner in 2009, trade has continued to climb, helped by cooperative frameworks put in place by the Chinese government and its African counterparts. The momentum is expected to build over the medium term, and the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in September is likely to help ensure that these increasingly close economic ties become even closer.
The signing of new contracts for the sale of Mozambican natural gas, namely to China, as well as the government approval of the Area 1 project led by US group Anadarko Petroleum, have improved the outlook for this industry in Mozambique in recent weeks.
The President of the Republic of Mozambique, Filipe Nyusi, has appointed a new foreign minister with links to China as well as a new ambassador for China, at a time when bilateral economic and trade relations are growing, according to the Africa Monitor Intelligence newsletter.
Cabo Verde (Cape Verde) and Guinea-Bissau are expected to post economic growth above the regional and global average in 2018, according to the World Bank, which has also significantly reduced growth forecasts for Mozambique and raised them for Angola.
The Maputo/Catembe bridge, due to be opened in the next few months in the Mozambican capital, is the project with the biggesting funding granted by China for the construction of infrastructure in the African country, the total amount of which exceeded US$2.28 billion from 2000 to 2014.
São Tomé and Príncipe and Cabo Verde (Cape Verde) are expected to lead economic growth in Portuguese-speaking Africa in 2018, followed closely by Guinea-Bissau and Mozambique, with Angola seeing the most modest forecasts for Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth.
The business environment improved from 2016 to 2017 in all Portuguese-speaking countries, among which Cabo Verde (Cape Verde) was the best positioned and Angola the one that rose the most, according to the classification in the World Bank “Doing Business” report for 2018.
Brazil’s trade with African countries, which worsened in recent years after reaching a record high in 2008, is recovering, in a new diplomatic context, according to figures from the Brazilian Ministry of Industry, Trade and Services.
Mozambique, in coordination with the National Development and Reform Commission of China, is in an advanced process of evaluating priority projects already selected for further financing in the areas of infrastructure, energy, transport, agriculture and industrial parks, among others, the Mozambican ambassador to China has said.
The economies of the Portuguese-speaking countries, with the exception of Mozambique, recorded slight gains in the Global Competitiveness Index 2017-2018, released last week.