China-Africa trade rose by 38.2 per cent year on year (YoY) to $185.2 billion between January and September this year, reaching the highest level in history for the same period, according to Chinese vice commerce minister Qian Keming, who recently said China’s direct investment in Africa hit $2.59 billion in the period, up by 9.9 per cent YoY.
The growth rate is 3 percentage points higher than China’s overall outbound investment, Qian said, adding that the growth rate outperformed the pre-pandemic level in the same period of 2019.
Chinese enterprises signed $53.5 billion in new contracts in Africa in the period, up by 22.2 per cent YoY, with a turnover of $26.9 billion, up by 11.6 per cent YoY, official Chinese media reported.
The Eighth Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) will take place in Senegal in November end.
Against the backdrop of COVID-19, the 55 FOCAC members will gather again, which shows the strong willingness of China and Africa to deepen cooperation, Qian said.
Qian believes the conference will boost the China-Africa comprehensive strategic and cooperative partnership and chart the course for sustainable and high-quality development of China-Africa cooperation. He also said it would play a positive role in building a China-Africa community with a shared future in the new era.
China has maintained its position as Africa’s largest trade partner for 12 years straight. The bilateral trade was worth $187 billion in 2020.
Ever since the establishment of FOCAC in 2000, trade between China and Africa and China’s direct investment in Africa have increased 20 and 100 times respectively, said Xu Bu, president of the China Institute of International Studies, at a forum in October.
Since 2000, China has imported 1.2 trillion U.S. dollars of goods from Africa and exported $1.27 trillion of goods to Africa, Qian added.