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Profiles - July 5, 2018

China, African yearly trade hits $170bn

China’s bilateral cooperation with Africa has grown phenomenally over the past 40 years, with trade rising from $765m to $170bn a year.

China’s Deputy Foreign Minister Chen Xiaodong said growth has been based on interlocking interests since 1978.

The minister said this has resulted in China becoming Africa’s largest trading partner in recent decades.

During the same period, Chinese investment in Africa reached $110bn.

Chen said Africa’s debt to his country is economically viable and should not be a cause for concern.

Chen made the announcement in Beijing on Wednesday at the opening session of the 7th China-Africa Expert Committee Forum.

“China is attentive to the situation in Africa and seeks to help the continent to contain the risks of debt and relieve the pressure of payment,” the minister pointed out.

The minister said Beijing also encourages companies in her country to investments more and explore new models such as public-private partnerships.

China, the official said, understands the importance of debt sustainability in Africa, helping the continent to improve its investment environment.

China’s investments in the continent range from Zambian power plants, Egyptian trade agreements, cobalt mines in Congo, rail links in East Africa and infrastructure in Equatorial Guinea.

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