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China-Africa trade growing

Staff writer |
Between January and October last year, bilateral trade between China and Africa was worth $172.83 billion, up 5.5 percent from a year earlier, says Chen Hao, deputy director of the Coordination Division of the Department of West Asian and African Affairs of the Chinese Ministry of Commerce.

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High value-added and high-tech products accounted for nearly half of China's exports to Africa, Chen says. African industrial goods such as steel and copper products have also started to enter the Chinese market, reports ChinaDaily.

China became Africa's largest trading partner in 2009. Africa is China's leading import source, second-largest market of overseas project contracting and fourth-largest outward investment destination, a Chinese government white paper on China-Africa economic cooperation published last year says.

Trade between China and Africa was worth $198.5 billion in 2012, 19 percent more than in 2011, and accounted for about 5 percent of China's total trade and about 16 percent of Africa's overall trade. More than 2,000 Chinese businesses had invested more than $20 billion in African non-financial sectors by the end of 2012, the white paper says.

Li Jinzao, vice-minister of commerce, says Africa's economic integration has provided new scope for bilateral cooperation in broader sectors and at a higher level. Economic cooperation between China and Africa is going through a period of rapid growth and change, he says.

Li Wentao says: "A highlight is that bilateral trade in services has grown rapidly in recent years. More Chinese tourists are visiting Africa, while African aviation and logistic services are going into China.

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