The increasing trade and investment links between China and Africa have garnered attention from experts and business leaders, showcasing the development of a China-Africa community with shared interests. This evolving economic relationship is believed to have the potential to stimulate global economic recovery.
Recent data from the General Administration of Customs indicates that bilateral trade between China and Africa reached 1.14 trillion yuan ($156.4 billion) during the initial seven months of this year, reflecting a 7.4 percent rise from the previous year. This growth signifies the resilience of the China-Africa economic partnership despite challenging global circumstances.
Zhang Wei, Vice President of the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, stated that “Economic and trade cooperation is the cornerstone of China-Africa relations.” This consistent growth in China-Africa trade and economic collaboration underscores its stability even amid international uncertainties.
China’s position as Africa’s leading trading partner for 14 consecutive years emphasizes its significance in the region. Over the past 23 years, China’s imports from Africa have aggregated $1.42 trillion, while exports to Africa totaled $1.58 trillion, as per data provided by the Ministry of Commerce. In the preceding year, the combined imports and exports amounted to $282 billion, marking an 11.1 percent increase from the previous year.
A notable aspect of this trade dynamic is China’s exports to Africa, which reached $164.5 billion in the previous year, demonstrating an 11.2 percent annual growth. Correspondingly, imports from Africa rose to $117.5 billion, indicating an 11 percent year-on-year increase.
Sarmad Lone, Regional Head of Client Coverage at Standard Chartered Bank, emphasized various factors propelling the deepening trade and investment cooperation between China and Africa. These encompass shared values such as promoting free trade and innovation, as well as driving economic growth. This alignment of interests has facilitated cooperation and yielded mutual benefits for both nations and commercial entities.
As China remains committed to promoting an open world economy and a win-win opening-up strategy, its dedication to trade and investment cooperation remains steadfast. Moreover, as Africa advances its efforts to unlock economic potential and establish a unified market, the collaboration between China and Africa is anticipated to grow deeper in quality and scope.
Cooperation prospects extend across diverse sectors including financial services, the digital economy, aerospace, and new energy. A report from the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation underscores the deliberate efforts made to cultivate China-Africa economic and trade cooperation within multilateral frameworks.
Significantly, cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative has transitioned into the implementation stage, signifying China’s commitment to supporting infrastructural development in Africa. Amid pandemic-related challenges, China and Africa have engaged in exchanges addressing food security, energy, production capacity investment, infrastructure, quality standards, and statistical matters.
China’s collaborations with African financial institutions have resulted in projects spanning agricultural product processing, water supply, sanitation, transportation, electric power, and energy. Additionally, China’s participation in the G20 debt service suspension initiative has notably contributed to debt relief for pertinent African countries, reaffirming its role as a responsible partner in regional economic advancement.
As trade and investment ties between China and Africa continue to evolve, they hold potential not only for economic growth but also for fostering a more interconnected and cooperative global milieu.