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Why African Countries Can’t Rely on China to Fix The Trade Imbalance

Mark RALSTON / AFP

It is beyond doubt that two-way trade will feature heavily in next week’s FOCAC ministerial meeting in Dakar, Senegal as China has already announced plans to further open its market for more African products. While this is a welcome move that will go a long way in improving the economic fortunes of the countries involved, this kind of tokenism is short-sighted and unsustainable as the real solutions lie in each country’s coordination and competitiveness in the global market.

Chinese Vice Minister of Commerce, Qian Keming made the revelation at a press briefing on FOCAC while responding to a question about concerns among some countries over their huge trade deficits with China. Uganda’s president, Yoweri Museveni shared the same concerns earlier in the month when he called on China to give the U.S or European style market access to facilitate the expansion and greater access of African products in the expansive Chinese market.

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