BEIJING — Trade volume between China and African countries surged 16.8 percent year on year in the first quarter (Q1) of 2017 to $38.8 billion as bilateral economic relations boomed, the commerce ministry said on May 11.
This was the first quarterly rebound in bilateral trade between China and Africa since 2015, with Chinese imports from Africa up 46 percent to $18.4 billion, Sun Jiwen, spokesperson for the Ministry of Commerce, told a press conference.
Chinese exports to Africa declined 1 percent year on year to $20.5 billion in the first three months of this year, compared with an 18 percent drop in the same period last year, he said.
Sun attributed the growth to the implementation of ten major China-Africa cooperation plans raised at the Johannesburg Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in 2015, which included interest-free loans and preferential policies.
In Q1, Chinese enterprises made more than $750 million of non-financial direct investment to African countries, up 64 percent year on year, Sun said, adding that the two sides are expected to move towards a higher level of economic cooperation this year.
Bilateral trade between China and Africa stood at $149.1 billion in 2016.