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China: Trade with Africa on track to new record

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • Deals are expected to total more than $110 billion this year
  • Resource-rich Africa provides oil and other commodities
  • China's booming economy needs more and more raw materials
  • Plummeting tariffs are expected to further boost trade

Beijing, China (CNN) -- Trade between China and Africa is on track to hit more than $110 billion this year, setting a new record, Chinese state-run media said Friday.

China has increasingly turned to resource-rich Africa as China's booming economy has demanded more and more oil and raw materials.

From 2000 to 2008, trade between China and Africa surged by more than 33 percent annually, hitting a high of $106.8 billion in 2008, the Ministry of Commerce said, according to China Daily.

China-Africa trade probably will grow by about 20 percent in three to five years, China Daily reported, citing Huo Jianguo, director of the ministry's Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation.

Beijing is expected to cut tariffs on 95 percent of commodities from the least developed African nations to zero by 2011, to further boost trade. China also has offered $10 billion in preferential loans to Africa.

China has become Africa's largest trade partner, with many deals involving natural resources in exchange for building infrastructure and loans. China imports oil from Africa, as well as commodities such as timber, copper, and diamonds. China also exports processed foods, household products and other manufactured goods to African countries.

Unlike nations such as the United States, China does not link trade with political reforms.