China-Africa Trade Booming
The China-Africa Co-operation Forum, established in the year 2000, has been a project that has grown from strength to strength each year. Its growth has enjoyed an average rate of 33.5 % each year, and the numbers for this year have also been satisfying. Bilateral trade between Africa and China is on the rise, and even though trade has been down in some years, it still shows an average growth that makes the China-Africa Co-operation Forum one of the most successful initiatives to date.
At the start of the China-Africa Co-operation, especially the first half, the trade between Africa and China showed tremendous development of 65 % each year. This increase in trade was valued at just over $61bn for the first half only. Continuous trade growth did continue, but in 2009 a decrease in trade was experienced, showing that trade had slowed down to $91.1bn, as opposed to the $106.8bn that was traded in the year 2008. A small fluctuation such as this has not influenced the general growth value of bilateral trade, which has seen a dramatic increase to the mere $10bn that was traded in 2000. Companies and investors from China found a wealth of sectors in Africa to invest in such as, manufacturing, processing, factories, construction, mining, commerce and agriculture, and at present there are more than one thousand six hundred companies with active investments in Africa.
Beijing recently announced that bilateral trade with Africa was back on track again, with trade numbers nearing the one hundred billion dollar mark again. Investments and trade in the farming, factories and mining sectors have played a significant role in the boost in trade. On his latest visit to China in August, Rob Davies, Trade Minister of South Africa, commented that the continual trade and new investments into Africa, specifically South Africa, was welcomed and encouraged and is as vital to South Africa as it is beneficial to China. With the China-Africa Co-operation Forum proving to be a force to be reckoned with, it is believed that trade and investment will continue to develop and draw strength in the coming years.