China’s Trade with Portuguese-Speaking Countries Grows

Recent statistics from China’s International Chamber of Commerce reveal that more than a fifth of all trade China does with Africa is with the Portuguese-speaking countries of Cape Verde, Angola, Guinea Bissau, Mozambique and the island nation of Sao Tome and Principe. In 2013, trade between China and African countries climbed to US$210.2 billion, representing an increase of 5.9 percent, with imports from Africa outweighing exports to the African continent. Moreover, at the end of 2013, there were more than 2,000 Chinese companies operational in Africa, primarily in the infrastructure, agriculture, industry, finance, trade, logistics and extractive industries sectors.

Angola tops the list of Portuguese-speaking countries in Africa with an increase of 35.5 percent in trade with China in 2013. Imports from Angola totaled US$33.458 billion, while exports to Angola totaled US$4.044 billion. Trade with Mozambique increased by 22.6 percent in 2013, with imports from Mozambique totaling US$451 million, and exports to the African country totaling US$1.19 billion.

This increase in trade is in line with China’s commitment to increasing trade with worldwide Portuguese-speaking countries. At Forum Macau in November last year, the Ministerial Conference agreed on a Plan of Action for Economic and Trade Cooperation with the goal of increasing trade between China and the Portuguese-speaking world to and amount of US$160 billion by 2016. To this end, China’s deputy Prime Minister, Wang Yang, has given his support for the construction of a number of facilities in Macau specifically aimed at trade relations between China and the Portuguese-speaking world. These are likely to include a Commercial Services Center dedicated to Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, a Center for Distribution of Food Products, and a Center for Conventions and Expositions for Economic and Trade Cooperation between the two parties.