Africa: China’s trade with the continent grows to record highs

September 17, 2021 Business Ghana 0 Comments

According to China’s Ministry of Commerce, trade between China and Africa increased by 40.5 percent year-on-year in the first seven months of 2021, and was valued at a record high of USD 139.1 billion. The Ministry noted that African products were increasingly being recognised in the Chinese market, and that imports from Africa into China increased by 46.3% between January and July 2021. Further, the import of agricultural products, such as rubber, cotton and coffee from Africa into China doubled when compared to the first seven months of 2020. Data from the Ministry further revealed that over the last 20 years, China’s trade with Africa has risen 20-fold, showing that China is Africa’s biggest bilateral trading partner.

A recent report by Economist Corporate Network, supported by Baker McKenzie and Silk Road Associates, BRI Beyond 2020 [1] (Economist report), showed how these strengthening trade links are, in part, a result of favorable financial incentives offered to African jurisdictions by China. According to the Economist report, 33 of the poorest jurisdictions in Africa export 97% of their exports to China with no tariffs and no customs duties. This report noted that bilateral trade was still heavily centered on China’s import of Africa’s natural resources. However, in recent years China had increased its import of manufacturing products from more diversified economies such as South Africa. Read More.

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