China's economic ties with Africa growing stronger: MOFCOM

2024-04-12 Global Times Editor:Li Yan

China's Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) affirmed the fruitful achievements in recent years and promising potential of China-Africa economic cooperation on Thursday, while offering encouragement for innovative investment collaboration in emerging sectors and calling for expanded economic ties with Africa.

China's investment in Africa has seen steady growth and enjoys broad prospects. In 2023, the country's direct investment in the continent continued its upward trajectory, contributing to the industrialization and economic diversification process in Africa, a spokesperson for the ministry said on Thursday during a regular press conference.

Experts noted that the economic collaboration between the two sides, driven by mutual long-term development strategies and economic imperatives, holds immense potential due to the strong complementarity between the two economies.

China invests over $400 million annually in Africa's manufacturing sector and contributes more than $37 billion to infrastructure development cooperation, according to MOFCOM.

Amid the global new energy transition, bilateral collaboration in sectors like the digital economy, green initiatives, aerospace, and finance is expanding. China encourages enterprises to pursue cooperation expansion and innovative investment, the spokesperson said.

With ongoing structural optimization, the bilateral collaboration in emerging sectors like new energy vehicles, lithium batteries, and photovoltaic products is witnessing a significant surge, supporting the continent's green energy transition, the ministry noted.

Amid the rapid recovery and upgrading of the Chinese economy, the two sides share enormous opportunities spanning traditional and emerging sectors, Wang Wen, executive dean of the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University of China (RDCY), told the Global Times on Thursday.

African countries participating in the Belt and Road Initiative saw a 47 percent increase in construction contracts with China and a 114 percent rise in investment last year, driven partly by the need for minerals used in the electric vehicle, battery and renewable energy industries, the South China Morning Post reported in February.

In stark contrast to Western political coercion, China has embarked on a path with Chinese characteristics, prioritizing local welfare and creating tangible social benefits without imposing political conditions, Wang noted.

Based on mutual benefit, China has spearheaded a series of critical infrastructure projects in Africa's transport, energy, power, housing, and livelihood sectors, significantly boosting local economic growth and enhancing living standards, according to MOFCOM.

Wang stressed that investment in Africa constitutes a significant proportion of China's outward investment. Rapidly evolving engagements between the two sides will not only bolster mutual economic advancement, but also inject strong momentum into world economic recovery and growth.

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