Q&A: Seven Questions on China-Africa Relations

Author:Luiz Almeida - Wenjie Chen - Oral Williams
Pages:8-10
SUMMARY

China has emerged as Sub-Saharan Africa’s (SSA) major trading partner and as an important lender in recent years. Sub-Saharan Africa enjoyed a trade surplus with China for more than a decade, but this has now turned to a deficit with the slump in commodity prices. China’s engagement with SSA goes beyond a narrative of natural resources and includes wider cooperation to address bottlenecks in SSA’s... (see full summary)

 
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IMF Research Bulletin
8 8
Seven Questions on China-Africa Relations
By Luiz Almeida, Wenjie Chen, and Oral Williams
China has emerged a s Sub-Saharan Africa’s (SSA) major
trading partner and as an impor tant lender in recent years.
Sub-Saharan Africa enjoy ed a trade surplus with Chin a for
more than a decade, but this h as now turned to a def icit with
the slump in commodity prices. Ch ina’s engagement with SSA
goes beyond a narrative of natural resources an d includes
wider cooperation to addre ss bottlenecks in SSA’s develop-
ment. Despite uncer tainties in the external environment
China has pledged US$60 bil lion over the next three years to
support SSA’s development.
Question 1.How important is China’s trade with
Sub-Saharan Africa?
China has emerged as Sub-Sa haran Africa’s (SSA) single larg-
est trading pa rtner, following China’s rapid growth in recent
years. Twenty years ago, advanced economies accounted for
about 90 percent of SSA exports. Since t hen there has been a
shi in trad ing patterns with Brazil, Ind ia, and China now
accounting for over half of SSA expor ts. China accounts for
the lion’s share of SSA exports at about 25 percent. Fuel, metal,
and mineral products represent 70 percent of SSA’s exports to
China. Over the pa st decade, SSA enjoyed a trade surplus with
China, only briey inter rupted during the global nanci al
crisis in 2009, but thi s has turned to a decit since 2015 owing
largely to the slump in commodit y prices. On the import side,
the majority of SSA imports f rom China comprise manufac-
tured goods and machi nery.
Q&A
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China
Advanced Economies
India
Brazil
Sub-Saharan Africa
Others
Sub-Saharan Africa: Total Exports by Partner
(Billions of U.S. dollars)
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1990
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Figure 1. China’s Exports and Imports to Sub-Saharan Africa
(Billions of U.S. dollars, 6 month moving average)
China
Advanced Economies
India
Brazil
Sub-Saharan Africa
Others
Sub-Saharan Africa: Total Imports by Partner
(Billions of U.S. dollars)
1990
1991
1992
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2015

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