Trade turnover between China and Africa reached $282 billion.

Trade turnover between China and Africa reached 2 billion.

(BEIJING): China’s total trade with Africa grew a modest 1.5 per cent in 2023 from 2022 to US$282.1 billion, but Africa’s trade deficit with China widened, according to the latest Chinese customs data.

Chinese exports to Africa reached US$173 billion, an increase of 7.5 per cent over 2022, while its imports from the continent dropped by 6.7 per cent to US$109 billion, figures from the General Administration of Customs showed.

While the US$100 million year-on-year increase made 2023 bilateral trade a record, Africa’s trade deficit with China continued to expand, from US$46.9 billion in 2022 to US$64 billion last year.

In Beijing, trade officials tried to strike an upbeat tone, hailing China’s role as Africa’s largest trading partner “for 15 consecutive years”.

“The 1.5 per cent growth was … a reflection of strong resilience of the China-Africa trade,” Jiang Wei, head of the commerce ministry’s West Asian and African affairs department, told reporters on Wednesday.

Observers said the modest growth followed the pattern of China’s overall trade with other regions as it faced severe economic headwinds, including weak business and consumer confidence, tepid global demand, a property crisis and heavy local government debt that could constrain the ability to stimulate the economy.

Last year, the value of China’s total global trade slumped 5 per cent from the previous year to US$5.93 trillion.

According to Chinese customs data, in 2023 China recorded a drop in trade with its top five trading partners in Africa – South Africa, Angola, Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Egypt – which are predominantly resource-rich nations.

Courtesy: Sprinter