china – africa trade soars, two decades of unprecedented growth

China – Africa Trade Soars, Two Decades of Unprecedented Growth

Trade between China and Africa has shown a rapid and positive development trend, reaching new heights growing to $260 Billion in 2022 from less than $13 Million in 2000. China’s total import and export volume with Africa in the last five months of 2023 reached $113.5 Billion, up about 16.4 percent year-on-year. 

According to the General Administration of Customs, trade between the two countries has become increasingly close. Lyu Daliang, director of the statistics and analysis department of the administration, says China – Africa trade potential continues to grow. He highlighted that the general index of data in 2000 has been set as a benchmark, starting from 100 points. 

In 2022, it reached a record high of 990.55 points when China bolstered its role as Africa’s largest trading partner for 14 consecutive years. Lyu described the index as a barometer of bilateral trade. Besides the index, there are five first-level indicators like closeness, trade scale, potential, structure, and main-body vitality. 

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China encourages Africa to pursue an independent and autonomous development path. Beijing is deepening strategic alignment with African countries by jointly building the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Chinese vice-president Han Zheng said China, with Africa, is working towards strengthening cooperation in industrial and supply chain development, as well as enhancing connectivity. 

Given China-Africa’s diverse nature of cooperation, its complementary trade structure will play a key role in supporting economic and social development. Officials believe that China as the largest developing country, and Africa as the largest developing continent, have fostered broad cooperation in various sectors. The cooperation includes infrastructure enhancement, poverty alleviation and industrialization. 

Jiang Wei, director-general of the Department of Western Asian and African Affairs in the Ministry of Commerce, said Beijing is actively encouraging Chinese companies to leverage their strengths and participate in Africa’s infrastructure development. He added that China is looking at various channels, like cross-border e-commerce platforms for the entry of high-quality African products into its market. 

Furthermore, the trade cooperation between China – Africa will maintain the stability of the global industrial and supply chains.