Sunday, October 19, 2008

African exports to China rise to US$22 billion

This Day (Lagos) 2008-07-15

Natural resource exports from sub-Saharan Africa to China increased to US$22 billion in 2006 from only US$3 billion in 2001, according to a report by the World Bank.

“Petroleum dominates, accounting for 80 percent of total exports to China”, says the report which was made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) yesterday in Abuja. It was noted that the bulk of Africa’s oil goes to China.

Other important African export commodities include, according to the report, iron ore and timber, followed by manganese, cobalt, copper, and chromium.

“The growing South-South cooperation is driven by strong economic complementarity between China and Africa”, said Vivien Foster, World Bank lead economist and co-author of the report.

The report, entitled ‘Building Bridges: China’s Growing Role as Infrastructure Financier for Sub-Saharan Africa’, states that there is a synergy between Africa and the Chinese economy.

According to the report, new infrastructure partnerships are emerging, driven by strong economic growth in the African region.

“China’s growing demand for natural resources had been matched by Africa’s significant and often under-developed oil and mineral reserves. While Africa’s urgent need for infrastructure is matched by China’s globally competitive construction industry”, the report said.

Further, the World Bank is already working closely with African countries, China, and other developing nations in sharing experiences so that investments have the best development impact.

China is, however, not the only emerging financier playing a key role in Africa. It nevertheless makes sizeable investment commitments in sub-Saharan Africa’s infrastructure, helping to fill annual needs estimated at US$22 billion by the Commission for Africa.