KBC | 1 December 2021
Trade imbalance remain key concern at Africa-China forum
By Ronald Owili
The exports and imports mismatch has been highlighted as a key concern as Africa continues to deepen trade with China.
African leaders at the Forum for Africa-China Co-operation (FOCAC) currently underway in Dakar, Senegal have called for correction of the trade imbalance which favours the asian economic giant.
“There is urgent need to address the widening trade imbalances to facilitate a fairer share of the benefits of trade. In this regard, FOCAC partners must focus on ways to ameliorate the Africa-China trade imbalances, boost China-Africa trade and promote a win-win framework through increased exports
from Africa, especially in Agricultural products,” said Ukur Yatani, National Treasury and Planning Cabinet Secretary.
Statistics from the China’s Ministry of Commerce, China-Africa trade increased 45.5% to hit $139.1 billion with imports from Africa accounting for $59.3 billion of the total trade.
On the other hand, China’ Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) to Africa soared during the period to reach $2.07 billion which CS Yatani backed to accelerate Africa development programmes such as Africa Agenda 2063.
“Foreign Direct investment remains key to achieving Industrialization and the increase in Chinese companies investing in Africa is a move in the right direction, as they are aware Africa is safe and open for business and investments,” said CS Yatani.
The FOCAC meeting which is held after every three years targets to enhance China foreign policy and cooperation with Africa.
“The important achievement in China-Africa cooperation and FOCAC’s development in the past three years is the result of the joint efforts by all members to stand up to the challenges in the FOCAC spirit of extensive consultation, joint contribution, and shared benefits. It demonstrated our common aspiration and strong determination for stronger solidarity and closer co-operation under new circumstances. It also displayed the remarkable resilience and vitality of China-Africa cooperation in the face of the unique challenges of COVID-19. Achievements of the past are hard-w0n and valuable, but what awaits ahead is even more promising,” said Wang Yi, Chinese State Councillor and Foreign Minister.
Last year, Kenya’s imports from China reduced from Kshs. 376.7 billion in 2019 to Kshs. 361.4 billion while exports reduced to Kshs. 14.8 billion from Kshs. 15.2 billion.