Free Trade Zones

Trade relations with Africa continue


Dr Mai Osama (head of IPC) holds vials of Chinese Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine in the visual inspection unit of the holding company for biologics and vaccines “Vacsera” in Cairo, Egypt, on August 31, 2021. [Photo/Agencies]

Several African countries are reporting strengthened trade ties with China despite the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the latest statistics.

In Namibia, China became the country’s main export market in August, accounting for 29.6% of all goods exported. According to the Namibian Statistics Agency, the new figures indicate that China has overtaken South Africa for the first place.

Alex Shimuafeni, the statistician general of the Namibia Statistics Agency, said on Wednesday that the country’s exports to China consist mainly of copper, precious stones and non-monetary gold.

“Trade figures for August 2021 show that exports grew 30% month-on-month and decreased 20% year-on-year. Copper accounted for the largest share of all exported goods, accounting for 69% of total exports mainly to China. , Spain, the Netherlands and France, ”said Shimuafeni.

He added that the value of the country’s exports rose in August, rising 41.5 percent to $ 474 million from its July level. Shimuafeni also noted that South Africa still remains Namibia’s largest source of imports.

Coffee economy

The Ethiopian Coffee and Tea Authority said on Wednesday that China was still among the top 10 Ethiopian coffee importers in August.

Although Ethiopia expected to earn $ 99 million by exporting 29,819 tons of coffee and spices in August, its real income reached $ 125 million with the export of 33,169 tons of the two products, according to a statement. release published by the authority.

In June Ethiopia launched an initiative to get Chinese investors to join local roasters to add value to their products and increase direct coffee exports to China, the efforts appear to be paying off.

Statistics from China have also shown sharp increases in trade between China and Africa despite the ongoing pandemic. China-Africa trade grew 40.5 percent year-on-year in the first seven months of this year, and was valued at an all-time high of $ 139.1 billion, ministry figures show Chinese Trade.

A recent report from the Economist Corporate Network business networking forum showed how these enhanced trade ties between China and Africa are, in part, the result of favorable financial incentives offered by China to African jurisdictions. According to the “BRI Beyond 2020” report published by ECN, 33 of Africa’s poorest jurisdictions exported 97% of their goods to China without tariffs or tariffs.

The report also states that Chinese companies are increasingly supporting the construction of major economic zones in sub-Saharan Africa, including the Zambia-China Economic and Trade Cooperation Zone, the Eastern Industrial Zone in Ethiopia and the China-Free Trade Zone. Nigeria. These investments have helped create jobs, develop local industries and facilitate trade.