China-Africa trade reaches all-time high in 2021 …Showing resilience amid pandemic

China-Africa trade has bucked the global economic downward trendand analysts believe it has contributed to the African economy’s resilience in the face of COVID-19 challenges.

China has remained Africa’s largest trading partner for 12 consecutive years. According to the latest data released by the General Administration of Customs ofChina, the total bilateral trade between China and Africa in 2021 reached 254.3 billion U.S. dollars with a year-on-year increase of 35.3 percent, among which Africa exported 105.9 billion dollars of goods to China, a year-on-year growth of 43.7 percent.

China has maintained its position as the largest investor in Africa over the last 10 years, according to a new report by Swiss-African Business Circle released in February. 

The United States is the second-largest investor in Africa, followed by France and Turkey, in third and fourth positions respectively. Globally, Africa’s external trade performance in 2021 was very strong.

According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) data in November, Africa’s import and export of goods increased by 31 percent and 40 percent respectively in the third quarter of 2021.

The UNCTAD believes that the African economy’s improvement in 2021 was mainly due to the improvement of the external environment, especially the active support of China and other markets that enhanced Africa’s export capacity.

Africa’s trade growth has also been supported by higher commodity prices. Over the past 10 years, China created 18,562 jobs on average in Africa with yearly increases, said the Swiss-African Business Circle report. For example, China continued to help Zimbabwe develop its infrastructure, including telecommunications, energy, and agriculture.

Major projects include the expansion of Hwange Thermal Power Station, expansion of Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport, and the new parliament building.

In 2021, the total trade volume between China and South Africa reached 54.35 billion dollars, with a year-on-year growth of 50.7 percent. In the same year, Chinese investment in South Africa reached 280 million dollars, including 130 million dollars in non-financial investment and 150 million dollars in financial investment.

According to the International Monetary Fund, China’s gross domestic product (GDP) accounted for 18 percent of the world economy in 2021, and its contribution to world economic development has been steadily increasing year after year.  -Xinhua

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