China-Africa Trade Grows in 2023 With USD 60 Billion Surplus for Beijing

China and Africa traded USD 282.09 billion worth of goods in 2023, a 1.5% increase compared to 2022, with a surplus of over USD 60 billion to Beijing .

China’s exports to African countries increased by 7.5% in 2023, while the opposite movement decreased by 6.7%, the General Administration of Chinese Customs reported.

Chinese exports to African nations rose by 7.5% to reach USD 172.78 billion in the past year, while Chinese imports from Africa totaled USD 109.31 billion, reflecting a 6.7% decline yoy.

China Eliminates Tariffs on 98% of Imports from Angola and Signs Investor Protection Agreement

To justify this decline in imports, the General Administration of Chinese Customs cited the decline in the prices of several commodities, of which the Asian giant is a major consumer.

Regarding exports, China mainly sells finished products (textiles, machinery, electronics, etc.) to Africa. For imports, the country primarily buys raw materials such as crude oil, copper, cobalt, and iron ore, resulting in a chronic trade surplus for China.

To address this persistent trade imbalance, China has removed tariffs on 98% of products imported from 21 African countries over the past two years, including Ethiopia, Guinea, Mozambique, Rwanda, and Togo.

China and Africa Vow to Bost Cooperation Under Belt and Road Initiative

This move is a response to President Xi Jinping’s declaration at the 8th Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC 8) in November 2021, where he stated China’s commitment to boosting imports of African agricultural products.

President Xi explained that the goal was to raise total Chinese imports from the African continent to USD 100 billion annually starting from 2022, and further to USD 300 billion annually by 2035.

South Africa remains China’s top trading partner in Africa, with bilateral exchanges reaching USD 56.61 billion in 2023. Other significant partners include Nigeria, Angola, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.


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