Jessica Montiero | Afriscaper

China is currently the second-largest economy in the world with projections that it will overtake the US and become the world’s largest economy within a decade.

The European Union remains China’s largest trading partner and the Research team at Afriscaper thought to compare China-Africa trade with China-Europe trade to compare the present and future performance of trade from an African perspective.

China-EU trade dwarfs that of China-Africa trade. As at 2015, China-EU trade stood at $578 billion while China-Africa trade stood at $179 billion. In percentage terms China-Africa trade is about 31% of China-EU trade Β (Source: China Statistical Yearbook).

However, if you scratch the surface a little bit and look at the data over a historical 10 year period, an interesting trend will be observed. Between 2006 and 2015, China Europe trade grew by 77%; in the same corresponding period, China-Africa trade grew by 223%.

Using year on year growth rates and projecting into the future, it is expected that China-Africa trade will match and surpass China-EU trade between 2024 & 2025.

Holding other factors constant and not bringing to bear the effect of the UK leaving the European Union (Brexit), it looks like Africa will be China’s largest trading partner when China becomes the largest economy in the world.

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