China-Africa Growing Relations

Thursday, May 10, 2007
Over the last decade, relations between Asia and Africa have grown tremendously. This growing relationship has largely been driven by Asia's two economic giants - China and India - and their heightened growth in demand for energy and raw materials has resulted in increased trade.

Africa's trade with China increased from US$10 billion in 2000 to over US$40 billion in 2006. Since opening up to the global economy, China has transformed itself into the global factory for the production of a number of goods. China produces 80 percent of the world’s photocopiers, 60-70 percent of all mobile phones, 50 per cent of all computers and world’s textiles.

Much of the closer engagement between Africa and Asia finds its roots in the sustained high growth rate of the Chinese economy which is transforming the country’s economic landscape and lives across the globe. China’s increased demand for consumer goods and oil to sustain its economic growth is pushing the economic giant to maintain closer economic ties with Africa.
Over the last four years, China has been responsible for 40 percent of total growth in global demand for oil. By 2045, China is likely to depend on oil imports for 45 percent of its energy needs. China and India are increasingly diversifying their sources of oil supplies away from traditional suppliers in the Middle East to Africa. As a result, the bulk of China’s investment in Africa is in the oil sector in countries such as Algeria, Angola, Chad, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Nigeria, and Sudan. India, for its part, is promoting bio-fuel research and production in 15 West African countries.

China has also stepped up measures to improve bilateral trade with Africa. These measures include setting up free trade areas (FTA), with African countries and regional blocs. In this regard, the launch of FTA negotiations between China and the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) was announced in June 2006.  With all these developments, China is well on track to become Africa’s third largest trading partner in the near future.
Source: African Development Bank