In 2021, the total bilateral trade volume between China and Africa will reach a new high, and China has maintained its status as Africa's largest trading partner for 12 consecutive years. Analysts believe that China-Africa trade has strengthened the resilience of the African economy against the challenges of the new crown epidemic.
China-Africa trade bucks the trend and boosts Africa's growth amid the pandemic
The latest data released by the General Administration of Customs of China shows that in 2021, the total bilateral trade between China and Africa will reach US$254.3 billion, a year-on-year increase of 35.3%, of which exports from Africa to China will be US$105.9 billion, a year-on-year increase of 43.7%.
According to a report released by the Swiss-African Business Circle Association in February, China has been the largest investor in Africa for the past 10 years. In the past 10 years, China has created an average of 18,562 new jobs for Africa every year.
According to a report released by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development in November 2021, from a global perspective, foreign trade in Africa will perform very strongly in 2021. In the third quarter of 2021, Africa's imports and exports of goods increased by 31% and 40% year-on-year, respectively.
UNCTAD believes that the African regional economy will improve in 2021, mainly due to the improvement of the external environment, especially China and other markets actively support Africa to enhance its export capacity. In addition, rising commodity prices have also provided some support for African trade growth.
Analysts believe that in the face of the challenge of the epidemic, African countries are generally facing economic difficulties. Supported by the demand brought about by the momentum of China's economic recovery, China-Africa trade has risen against the trend, contributing to the African economy's resistance to the impact of the epidemic.
South Africa is an important trading partner of China, and the bilateral trade volume between China and South Africa accounts for about one-fifth of the total trade volume between China and Africa. In 2021, the total trade volume between China and South Africa will reach US$54.35 billion, a year-on-year increase of 50.7%. China's investment in South Africa will reach US$280 million, including US$130 million in non-financial investment and US$150 million in financial investment.
David Root, chief economist of the Efficiency Group, a well-known South African investment company, told Xinhua News Agency: "South Africa's trade with China, especially its exports to China, has boosted South Africa's economic growth and boosted employment. It is very important to trade with China. China is one of the most important economies in the world, and it still maintains rapid growth, which is very attractive to South Africa. I believe that the future trade between the two countries will have a brighter prospect.”
Forum on China-Africa Cooperation and "One Belt, One Road" add vitality to Africa's economic recovery
The report "Chinese Enterprises Investing in Africa - Market Power and Private Role" released in Beijing in August 2021 shows that since 2000, under the promotion of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, Chinese enterprises' investment in Africa has entered a "small step and fast walk". In the development stage, especially Chinese private enterprises have gradually become the main force of China-Africa economic and trade investment cooperation, and are undergoing a transition from "going to Africa" to "settling in Africa" and then to "taking root in Africa".
A report by the African Policy Institute shows that since the "Belt and Road" initiative was proposed, China's support for Kenya's modern infrastructure projects such as railways, roads, ports, dams, industries, and digital connectivity has injected vitality into Kenya's economic growth.
In recent years, China has invested in a number of major projects in South Africa, and China and South Africa have conducted in-depth cooperation in the economic and trade field. Both large Chinese state-owned enterprises and private enterprises have established business in South Africa, creating thousands of local jobs.
Moshe, director of the Center for China Studies at the University of Dar es Salaam, said: "China-Africa cooperation has a long history. The Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, established in 2000, is a continuation and sublimation of China-Africa friendship and builds a high-level China-Africa for the new century. Relationships provide security.”
China has helped Africa build large-scale infrastructure projects such as the African Union Conference Center, the Addis Ababa-Djibouti Railway, and the Mombasa-Nairobi Railway, and has carried out close cooperation with Africa in various fields such as science, education, culture, and health. China-Africa cooperation has achieved tangible results and made significant contributions to reducing poverty, improving investment environment, upgrading industrialization and promoting economic development in African countries.
Chen Mingjian, Chinese Ambassador to Tanzania, said: "At present, countries around the world are still facing the two arduous tasks of epidemic prevention and control and economic recovery. China's high-quality economic development has provided impetus and confidence to the world, and has also brought more economic recovery to African countries after the epidemic. opportunity."