February 09th, 2009 | China Daily Sino-African trade tops $100b mark ahead of schedule
China’s trade with Africa breached the $100-billion mark in 2008, two years ahead of a bilateral trade target. Trade surged by 45 percent from a year earlier to $106.8 billion last year, official data showed on Wednesday.
According to figures released by China’s General Administration of Customs, the country’s trade deficit with Africa last year touched $5.16 billion, reversing a 2007 trade surplus of $940 million.
While the country imported $56 billion worth of goods and services from Africa, up 54 percent year-on-year, exports to the continent jumped 36 percent to $50.8 billion in 2008.
The growth rate of Sino-African trade, however, has slowed down markedly since last September due to the global financial crisis, China Customs pointed out.
Angola was China’s biggest trading partner in Africa in 2008, with bilateral trade amounting to $25.3 billion. It was followed by South Africa, which racked up $17.8 billion in trade last year.
The number of African countries whose trade volume with China exceeded $1 billion has increased from 14 in 2007 to 20 in 2008, the administration said.