On May 28, 2021, representatives from China and Ethiopia attended the launching ceremony of the CCECC Dire Dawa Industrial Park in Dire Dawa, Ethiopia. Photo: Xinhua News Agency
In 2020, China-Africa economic and trade cooperation remained strong despite the challenges, demonstrating the fact that China has been Africa's largest trading partner for the 12th consecutive year. In 2021, China-Africa economic and trade cooperation still maintains a good momentum and is expected to reach a new level.
According to the statistics of General Administration of Customs of the People's Republic of China, the total bilateral trade between China and Africa was USD 186.97 billion in 2020, down 10.5 percent year-on-year. From January to March, 2021, China-Africa economic and trade cooperation rebounded strongly, and the bilateral import and export trade volume reached USD 52.1 billion, a year-on-year increase of 27%.
Hunan, the venue of the second China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo (CAETE), is a firm support for the confidence of the continued growth of China-Africa economic and trade cooperation in the future. From January to April this year, the total trade value between Hunan and Africa reached RMB 10.93 billion, with an year-on-year increase of 34.2%, and the growth rate was 10 percentage points higher than that of the whole country; Among them, the trade value in April has become the highest of all months this year, with the import and export value of Hunan-Africa trade having reached RMB 3.39 billion.
This cooperation is two-way, multi-dimensional, multi-channel, and integrated.
African Continental Free Trade Area launched.
With the restorative growth of the world economy, the launch of the African Continental Free Trade Area, the gradual emergence of the effects of various bailout or stimulus measures, and the internal and external conditions for a "rebound" of the African economy in 2021 are relatively sufficient. According to the latest forecasts of the World Bank, Africa's economic growth will rebound modestly to 2.7% in 2021.
All these have laid a solid foundation for the sustained and strong growth of China-Africa economic and trade cooperation in the future.
Given Africa's rich agricultural resources and broad market prospects, the time is clearly becoming ripe for China to strengthen its cooperation with African countries in the agricultural sector, for example, by increasing investment in food production, warehousing and transportation.
Ma Hanzhi, an assistant researcher at the Institute of Department for Developing Countries Studies of the China Institute of International Studies, noted that in 2021, China-Africa has great potential for cooperation in areas such as infrastructure, digital economy and financial services. The construction of the AfCFTA has made higher and more urgent requirements for the African continent's connectivity. Africa is looking forward to deepening practical cooperation with China in the field of infrastructure construction. At the same time, the pandemic has made African countries aware of the importance of digitalization, so they are eager to quickly address the high cost of the internet, lack of bandwidth, and other issues that hinder digital transformation.
Various digital cooperation platforms, online promotion meetings, livestream marketing and other new business models have flourished, effectively serving China-Africa enterprises in docking and driving the export of African featured products to China. Under the framework of the AfCFTA, it is essential to improve digital connectivity to facilitate intra-trade in Africa. China will help Africa seize the opportunities of the information revolution and jointly build a "digital Africa".
At the end of 2020, China and the African Union signed a cooperation plan on jointly promoting the construction of the Belt and Road Initiative; on January 1, 2021, the first Free Trade Agreement between China and African countries, the China-Mauritius FTA was come into force; on May 25, the first AEO mutual recognition arrangement between China and African countries, China-Uganda Customs Arrangement on Mutual Recognition of "Authorized Economic Operator" (AEO) were signed by China Customs and Uganda Customs successfully...
The 2nd CAETE will be held in Changsha, Hunan Province from 26 to 28 September 2021; the 4th CIIE will be held in Shanghai from 5 to 10 November 2021; China and Senegal, as co-chairs of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), will strive together to prepare carefully for the 2021 Dakar meeting of FOCAC...
Here is the confidence of the continued strong growth of China-Africa economic and trade cooperation in the future.
Further Reviewed by: Zhao Yuhui and Jiang Yongfeng
Reviewed by: Chen Jue
Edited by: Zhu Tingjie