Building capacity to help Africa trade better

China Africa relations – 2011 highlights


China Africa relations – 2011 highlights


by Taku Fundira, tralac Researcher

The impressive economic performance witnessed by China in the past two decades has led to China being touted as the next economic superpower and become the world’s top manufacturer, surpassing the United States.

The success of China is partly attributed to the economic reforms that were undertaken since the 1970s. We have witnessed China's economy change from a closed centrally planned system to a market-oriented economy that has a rapidly growing private sector.

With China’s social, political and economic landscape changing for the long term, this has implied China’s need for more and diverse raw materials and different types of international business relationships. This has led to Chinese companies going global, a trend that has become a defining feature of the present stage of China’s integration with the global economy. Export growth has attributed significantly to China’s economic performance and currently China is the largest exporter and second largest importer of goods in the world.

This has also marked a new phase in China’s relations with Africa, with the continent increasingly becoming the target of Chinese foreign investment initiatives. China-Africa trade has increased substantially in the past 10 years. By 2008, it surpassed the USD 100 billion mark for the first time to reach US$ 105 billion.

China’s involvement with Africa goes beyond trade and investment and includes development assistance. At the 2009 Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), China pledged US$ 10 billion in concessional loans to Africa.

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