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China-Africa trade surging
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Since 2000 when Sino-African trade surpassed the $10 billion mark, commerce between the two maintained annual growth of more than 30 percent every year.

Bilateral trade hit $73.31 billion last year, an increase of 32.2 percent over 2006

The growth is continuing this year, with imports and exports totaling $53.14 billion in the first half, 66 percent more than the same period of 2007. China's exports to Africa were $23 billion, up 40 percent year-on-year, while African exports surged to $30.14 billion, a rise of 93 percent.

Chinese commodities, with their reliable quality, competitive prices and variety, are favored in the African markets.

China's major exports to Africa include textiles, garments, light industry machinery, automobiles, motorcycles, household electrical appliances, telecommunications and other hi-tech equipment.

In May last year, China helped Nigeria launch its own telecom satellite, marking a milestone in Sino-African hi-tech cooperation.

African products embraced by Chinese consumers include diamonds from South Africa, coffee from Uganda, timber from Gabon, cocoa beans from Ghana, tobacco from Zimbabwe, olive oil from Tunisia, marble from Egypt, sesame from Ethiopia and peanut oil from Senegal.

Positive measures

The Chinese government has in recent years taken increasing measures to encourage and expand imports from African countries.

In the framework of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, China offered zero-tariff treatment to some products imported from least-developed African countries.

The decision was announced by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao at the second ministerial meeting of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in December 2003.

At the summit meeting of the forum held in Beijing in November 2006, Chinese President Hu Jintao announced expansion in the number of zero-tariff commodities from 190 to 440.

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