Graphics: How Belt and Road has impacted China-Africa cooperation
The third China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo kicked off on Thursday in Changsha, central China's Hunan Province, with the theme of "Common Development for a Shared Future."
African countries are active and important participants in the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Among the 53 African countries that have established diplomatic relations with China, 52, plus the African Union Commission, have signed BRI cooperation documents with China, and cooperation projects on roads, electricity, communications and ports have spread across Africa, enhancing their capacity for autonomous, sustainable development.
The 10th anniversary of the BRI will be celebrated in 2023. Over the past decade, China-Africa economic and trade cooperation has yielded fruitful results in trade, direct investment and infrastructure.
The total trade between China and African countries has surpassed $2 trillion in the past decade, and China has remained the largest trading partner for the continent since 2009. Trade between China and Africa stood at $282 billion in 2022, up 11 percent.
As part of China's plan to increase its trade with African countries to $300 billion by 2025, the Chinese government has enacted a policy that covers almost 8,800 kinds of products, including clothes and footwear, agricultural goods and chemical products.
China also waived tariffs on 98 percent of taxable imports from nine countries in Africa on December 1, 2022.
Over the past decade, China's total direct investment in African countries has exceeded $30 billion, making China the fourth-largest source of investment in Africa.
In 2022, China's new direct investment in African countries was $3.4 billion, and there were more than 3,000 Chinese companies investing in the continent.
The value of newly contracted projects signed by Chinese enterprises in African countries has exceeded $700 billion over the past 10 years, and the completed turnover was over $400 billion.
The BRI's most important achievement in Africa during the past 10 years is that a vast number of projects have been delivered on the continent, said He Wenping, director of the African Studies Section at the Institute of West Asian and African Studies under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.
"People can see it with their own eyes and feel the great contribution to the local and even global economy."
Over the last decade, China has helped African countries build over 6,000 kilometers of railway, 6,000 kilometers of road, around 20 ports, over 80 large power facilities, and more than 130 hospitals and 170 schools.
The scope of China-Africa economic and trade cooperation has broadened from traditional areas like trade and engineering construction to fields such as digital and green industries, aviation and aerospace, and finance, Chinese Vice Minister of Commerce Li Fei said at a press briefing on the third China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo on June 13.
Proposed by China in 2013, the BRI refers to the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road, which aims at building a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along the trade routes of the ancient Silk Road.