Businesses & Financial News

Trade between Africa and China hit $254Bn in 2021

By Phyllis Muchoki

The value of trade between Africa and China hit $254 billion last year, mainly due to an increase in Chinese exports to the continent.

The growth – a 35 percent jump from 2020 despite last year’s global supply chain challenges and other interruptions caused by the covid-19 pandemic.

Growing trade with China increased Africa’s overall global trade, implying that trade creation outpaced trade diversion.

Both gain, when China provides African countries with capital goods and cheap consumer goods, and African countries supply China with the commodities required to fuel its economic expansion.

Back home, data by Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) shows Kenya’s total imports from China soared to $336.717 million in March this year alone, compared to $275.269 million a month earlier.

Kenya’s exports to China on the other hand stood at $139.01 million in the whole of 2020, according to figures by the United Nations COMTRADE database on international trade.

Analysts now warn that the deficit remains too big and have recommended enhanced measures if the two trading partners are to compete favorably.

One of those measures is to push for the uptake of more Kenyan goods and products in the Chinese market, according to Kenya Investment Authority (KenInvest) General Manager of Investment Promotion and Business Development, Pius Rotich.

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