China invests $552m in Africa in first half 2009

China has invested $552 million directly in Africa in the first half of the year, a report by Law Info China quoting the country’s Ministry of Commerce has said.

According to the report, the amount raises China’s direct investment in Africa to 81% from the same period in 2008.

Meanwhile, trade between China and African countries has dropped 30.5% to $37.07 billion in the first six months of 2009 as a result of the global economic crisis, the report added.

It said in the first half of the 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.

About 1000 Chinese enterprises have been approved or registered to do business in Africa. They are into trade, manufacturing, resources development, transportation, agriculture and agricultural products processing.

Trade between Ghana and China has grown over the years. In 2005 trade between the two countries was $769 million.

Trade between the two countries has blossomed over the years, with China benefitting most.

Ghana’s exports to China totalled only $25 million with imports of $93 million in the year 2000. Exports grew to $32 million in 2003 with imports of $180 million. In 2006, the figure went up to $39 million for exports while imports surged to $504 million.

A greater number of Ghanaians also prefer Chinese products, the results of a survey by Xinhua, a Chinese publication has shown.

Remarking on the results of the survey, which was done in July 2009, said it, “Ghanaians’ wrong perception about goods imported from China has gradually changed with the result that there is currently high patronage of all sorts of goods made in China.”

By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi

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