In 1980, the total Sino-African trade volume was US$1 billion.[7] In 1999, it was US$6.5 billion[28] and in 2000, US$10 billion.[7] By 2005, the total Sino-African trade had reached US$39.7 billion before it jumped to US$55 billion in 2006, making China the second largest trading partner of Africa after the United States, which had trade worth US$91 billion with African nations. The PRC also passed the traditional African economic partner and former colonial power France, which had trade worth US$47 billion.[29] In 2010, trade between Africa and China was worth US$114 billion[7] and in 2011, US$166.3 billion.[30] In the first 10 months of 2012 it was US$163.9 billion.[30]

There are an estimated 800 Chinese corporations doing business in Africa, most of which are private companies investing in the infrastructure, energy and banking sectors.[31]Unconditional and low-rate credit lines (rates at 1.5% over 15 years to 20 years)[32] have taken the place of the more restricted and conditional Western loans.[31] Since 2000, more than $10bn in debt owed by African nations to the PRC has been canceled.[32]

One-third of China’s oil supplies comes from the African continent, mainly from Angola.[33] Investments of Chinese companies in the energy sector have reached high levels in recent years.[when?] In some cases, like in Nigeria and Angola, oil and gas exploration and production deals reached more than $2 billion.[clarification needed][34][35] Many of those investments are mixed packages of aid and loan in exchange for infrastructure building and trade deals.

In agriculture, Benin and the Sahel countries of Burkina Faso and Mali supply up to 20% of China’s cotton needs. While Côte d’Ivoire supplies China with cocoa,[36] large[quantify]shipments of coffee are imported from Kenya. As for fish products, Namibia remains one of the main[quantify] providers.[31]

During the year 2011, trade between Africa and China increased a staggering 33% from the previous year to US $166 billion. This included Chinese imports from Africa equalling US $93 billion, consisting largely of mineral ores, petroleum, and agricultural products and Chinese exports to Africa totalling $93 billion, consisting largely of manufactured goods.[37] Outlining the rapidly expanding trade between the African continent and China, trade between these two areas of the world increased further by over 22% year-over-year to US $80.5 billion during the first five months of the year 2012.[37] Imports from Africa were up 25.5% to $49.6 billion during these first five months of 2012 and exports of Chinese-made products, such as machinery, electrical and consumer goods and clothing/footwear increased 17.5% to reach $30.9 billion.[37] China remained Africa’s largest trading partner during 2011 for the fourth consecutive year (starting in 2008).

The need to protect China’s increased investments in Africa have driven a shift away from China’s traditional non-interference in the internal matters of other countries to new diplomatic and military initiatives to try to resolve unrest in South Sudan and Mali.[38]



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