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By the Numbers: New Report Breaks Down Current State of China-Africa Trade and Economic Ties

Cover image of the China-Africa Economic and Trade Relationship Annual Report (2021) that was released on Saturday.

The Chinese government published a lengthy 108-page report on Saturday that details the current state of economic and trade ties with Africa. The timing of the report’s release was intended to coincide with the opening of the China-Africa Trade Expo that began in Changsha on Sunday.

Key Highlights From the “China-Africa Economic and Trade Relationship Annual Report (2021)” 

  • SPECIAL TRADE ZONES: A total of 25 Chinese economic and trade cooperation zones have been established in 16 African countries. As of the end of 2020, the cooperation zones, registered with the Ministry of Commerce of China, had attracted 623 enterprises, with a total investment of $7.35 billion. These enterprises have created over 46,000 jobs for the host countries, the report said.
  • FINANCIAL SERVICES: By the end of last year, seven Chinese banks had set up 15 branches in various African countries.
  • INVESTMENT: Chinese investment in Africa stood at $2.96 billion in 2020, up 9.5% year-on-year.  In the first seven months of 2021, the country’s direct investment in Africa reached $2.07 billion, outperforming the pre-pandemic level in the same period of 2019, according to the Ministry of Commerce.
  • TRADE: Bilateral trade registered robust growth this year, with trade volumes rising 40.5% year on year, to a record high of $139.1 billion in the first seven months of the year, according to Ministry of Commerce figures. Last year, two-way China-Africa trade totaled $187 billion.

The full report is currently only available in Chinese with an English edition expected soon.

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