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China's direct investment in Africa up 81 pct in 1H
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China's direct investment in Africa rose 81 percent in the first half year from the same period last year to US$552 million, according to a report released by the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) Tuesday.

Trade between China and African countries, however, slumped 30.5 percent to US$37.07 billion in first six months because of the global economic downturn, according to the report.

In the first half year, Chinese enterprises signed US$22.45 billion of new labor service contracts in Africa, up 25 percent year on year, and completed US$11.53 billion of business volume, up 61.1 percent year on year.

China maintains trade with 53 African countries and has been providing zero-tariff treatment for the poorest African developing countries from 2005 on. About US$890 million of African products had enjoyed preferential treatment by the end of June, according to the ministry.

About 1,000 Chinese enterprises have been approved or registered to do business in Africa, involving fields like trade, manufacturing, resources development, transportation, agriculture and agricultural products processing, said the ministry.

(Xinhua News Agency August 18, 2009)

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