Reuters, 3 Sep 08
Bilateral trade between China and Africa will exceed $100-billion in 2008, two years earlier than expected thanks to burgeoning shipments of natural resources to China, the Xinhua news agency said on Wednesday.
China's imports from Africa rose 92% to $30-billion in the first half of the year, while exports to the continent rose 40 percent to $23-billion, the agency said citing the customs administration.
Rapid growth in trade was largely owing to an economic upturn in Africa and mounting Chinese demand for resources, the General Administration of Customs said.
Africa is increasingly a source of crude oil, copper and cobalt for China, as well as other minerals, while Chinese manufactured goods are increasingly popular with African consumers.
The number of African countries recording more than $500 million in trade with China in the first half rose by five, to nineteen.
Despite its increasing importance to Africa, Sino-African trade is only a drop in the bucket for China. It accounted for 4,3% of China's first-half foreign trade, Xinhua said.