China, African trade hits $170b yearly

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China’s bilateral cooperation with Africa has grown phenomenally in the past 40 years with trade leaping from $765 million to $170 billion a year.

China’s Deputy Foreign Minister Chen Xiaodong said the growth was on the basis of interlocking interests since 1978.

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The minister said this has therefore made China Africa’s largest trading partner during the last few decades.

In the same period Chinese investment in Africa reached a cumulative $ 110 billion.

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Chen said Africa’s debt to her country is economically sustainable and should be no cause for alarm.

Chen, made the announcement in Beijing on Wednesday at the opening session of the 7th Forum of the China-Africa Expert Committee.

“China is attentive to the situation in Africa and seeks to help the continent to contain the risks of debt and relieve the pressure of payment,” the minister pointed out.

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The minister said that Beijing also encourages companies in her country to do more investments as well as to explore new models such as public-private partnerships.

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China, the official said, understands the importance of debt sustainability in Africa, thereby helping the continent to improve its investment environment.

China’s investments on the continent range from Zambian power plants, Egyptian trade deals, cobalt mines in Congo, rail links in East Africa and infrastructure in Equatorial Guinea.

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