China's Economic Development and Africa

NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

FOR ORAL REPLY

QUESTION NO: 7

PUBLISHED IN INTERNAL QUESTION PAPER NO 3 OF 20 FEBRUARY 2007

DR A N LUTHULI (ANC) TO ASK THE MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS:

Whether China's economic development, that necessitates her to make inroads into Africa in search of raw materials, is giving rise to another form of colonialism or neo-colonialism in Africa; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the relevant details? N209E
REPLY:

The involvement of China in Africa cannot be viewed as another form of colonialism or neo-colonialism. China's increased engagement with the continent presents an opportunity for a valuable contribution to Africa's growth and development. During his recent visit to South Africa President Hu Jintao of the People's Republic of China articulated China's foreign policy as a policy based on non-interference in the affairs of other countries.

China does co-operate with Africa on many issue in the United Nations.

Since 2000, China's trade with Africa has nearly tripled to US$39, 8 billion in 2005. Trade between China and Africa reached $55.5 billion in 2006, an increase of 40 percent year-on-year. China exported $26.7 billion to Africa, an increase of 43 percent over the previous year, while China imported goods worth $28.8 billion from Africa, up 37 percent. Raw materials and agricultural products are still major African exports to China, and the export of high-tech products is also on the rise.

By the end of 2005, China had invested $6.27 billion in 49 countries in Africa, in sectors such as trade, production and processing, resource development, transportation, agriculture and development of agricultural products.
According to trade analysts trade between China and Africa could reach US$110 billion in the near future. China is now Africa's third largest commercial partner after the US and France, and second largest exporter to Africa after France. It is notably ahead of former colonial power Britain in both categories.

Regarding China's role in Africa, some of its activities are conducted under the Forum for China Africa Co-operation (FOCAC). In January 2006 China had already released a policy document on Africa that clearly spelled out their policy of engagement with Africa. During the FOCAC meeting in Beijing, November 2006, it was agreed that NEPAD should be the overall framework within which China-Africa relations would be developed. It was also agreed to create favourable conditions to grow China-Africa trade in a more balanced manner.

In February 2007, President Hu Jintao followed up on the announced programme of support with a visit to 8 African countries, including Cameroon, Liberia, Sudan, Zambia, Namibia, Mozambique, the Seychelles and South Africa.



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