Facts about China-Africa economic, trade co-op

Updated: 2013-03-25 13:50


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BEIJING -- Economic and trade cooperation between China and Africa has progressed steadily since it started in the 1950s, both in scale and scope.

China and Africa are highly complementary in their economic and trade cooperation, despite being at different levels of development.

Following are some key facts about their economic and trade cooperation.

Trade volume grows fast

In 1950, bilateral trade stood at $12.14 million. It reached $100 million in 1960 and surpassed $1 billion in 1980. In 2000, it exceeded $10 billion.

After maintaining an annual growth rate of more than 30 percent for eight consecutive years, the volume soared to $106.8 billion in 2008.

China has been Africa's largest trade partner since 2009, with the volume reaching $166.3 billion in 2011 and nearly $200 billion in 2012.

Trade structure optimized

In the 1950s, their trade focused on primary commodities, such as cotton and mineral resources.

In the 1980s and 1990s, China's exports to Africa were mainly light industrial products, food and chemical products. Since 2000, electromechanical and high-tech products have accounted for half of China's exports to Africa.

At the same time, China has taken a series of measures, including tariff reduction and exemption, to facilitate imports from Africa.

In recent years, Africa's manufactured goods, such as steel, copper, electronic products and chemical fertilizers, have entered the Chinese market.

Africa's exports to China grew rapidly to $93.2 billion in 2011 from $5.6 billion in 2000, with Africa running a trade surplus of $20.1 billion in 2011.

Trade fields broadened

In the 1950s, bilateral economic and trade cooperation centered on trade and assistance to Africa. Since then, it has been gradually diversified.

Since the establishment of the China-Africa Cooperation Forum in 2000, bilateral cooperation has been further boosted and expanded to investment, infrastructure, finance, tourism and other fields.

By the end of 2012, China's direct investment in Africa accumulated to nearly $20 billion, with 75 percent going to such sectors as finance, processing and manufacturing, trade-related services, agriculture and transportation.

So far, more than 2,000 Chinese enterprises have invested in 50 African countries, with a large majority of their employees being Africans.

In the meantime, Africa's investment in China has grown steadily, rising to $12.9 billion by the end of 2011 and covering petrochemical engineering, mechatronics, transportation and communications.

China has fulfilled its commitment to providing Africa with $15 billion of concessional loans.

In 2012, China pledged to provide $20 billion in loans over three years to support Africa's infrastructure, agriculture, manufacturing and development of small- and medium-sized enterprises.