China in Africa
106 pages

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China in Africa


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106 pages

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The economic take-off of Beijing and other BRIC countries shakes the global economic map. To develop a sustainable economy, they need, as the old industrial countries, raw material that abounds Africa. This book proposes to disentangle the African partner's economic strategies and to penetrate the mysteries of diplomacy and international business relations.



Publié par
Date de parution 01 décembre 2011
Nombre de lectures 53
EAN13 9782296476141

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,0005€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.



Competition between China, traditional trade
partners of Africa and BRIC countries
© L’Harmattan, 2011
5-7, rue de l’Ecole polytechnique, 75005 Paris

http://www.librairieharmattan. com

ISBN : 978-2-296-56691-0
EAN : 978229656691-0

Fabrication numérique : Actissia Services, 2012
Julien Bokilo


Competition between China, traditional trade
partners of Africa and BRIC countries

Études Africaines
Collection dirigée par Denis Pryen et François Manga Akoa

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Most sincere thanks to Mrs. Françoise Pessiot Mokele, Mr. Jean-Marie Pessiot, Mr. Armand Moyikoua, Mr. Thierry PAIRAULT, Mr. Emmanuel Okamba, Mr. Jean Pierre Cabestan, Mr. Felix Ndely Ibara, Mr. Manga-François Akoa. I would also like to thank Mr. Ngouébé Laurie, Mr. Jean-Marie Adowa, Mr. Damase Bienvenu Bokilo, Miss Mireille Opa-Elion, Mr. André-George Sassé and Mrs. Jorlin Gassongo Mireille, for the many tips they provided me. The work environment is crucial for the vitality of a research. I was able to benefit the friendly and stimulating spirit of graduate schools : among all the teams to be thanked, Mrs. Elisabeth Ailes, Mr. Henri-Joseph Parra, Mr. Remy-Bazenguissa Ganga, Mr. Pap Ndiaye, Mrs. Elisabeth Dubois, Mr. François Durpaire and Mr. Roger Meunier.
PREFACE Once upon a time, Africa and China…
Relations between China and Africa are often subject to more emotional than rational reactions. Everyone reads and remembers that China is the second world power. This association is extremely unfortunate, as it is reminiscence of the cold war era when everyone knew who the "good" and "bad guys" were. It tries to resurrect this period by assigning a role to China immediately intelligible: all its actions are necessarily ill-intentioned as were those of the Soviet Union or of Japan. While China is the second largest economy (and not "power") behind the United States – the European Union is not taking into account here but would be the first. Despite its success, China is still basically a developing country. If China was an African country, it would rank as the tenth position on the continent in terms of wealth creation per capita, behind Algeria, Tunisia, South Africa, the Mauritius, Botswana and Gabon, and even further behind Libya, Seychelles and Equatorial Guinea … The human development index would give China a slightly more favorable position (the fifth largest of African) and the 89th row of the 169 countries assessed by the UNDP for 2010. Given its economic weight, China the fact that it plays an increasingly role in the global economy does not mean ipso facto that it can convert its race for raw materials and opportunities in a systematic strategy of domination (of African States in particular). Conversely, China’s natural resources demand and it new markets research inevitably lead to more or less influence the strategic choices of partner States. It then is no wonder that some see China’s presence as an opportunity for Africa, while others consider it harmful and contrary to peace, prosperity and democracy.

It is therefore extremely difficult to look coldly at China’s economic involvement in Africa. In addition, detailed statistical data of China’s economic involvement in African countries are extremely rare and disparate on the Chinese side but also on from international authorities. Related to crude oil, Chinese data indicate that over the first eight months of 2011 almost half of the Chinese supply comes from three countries: Saudi Arabia (19.6%), Angola (14.6%) and Iran (13.4%). The contribution of Saudi Arabia has increased (19.5%) as well as that of Iran (14.7%) while the Angolan one has decreased (-13.3%). What show the UNCTAD statistics for 2010? UNCTAD provides statistics of imports of oil (and derivatives) in value (current dollars). These figures show that the behavior of China, apart from its relations with Angola (leading provider of China in 2010, but the fourteenth global provider), differs little from the global average behavior. It underlines that importing countries prefer imported oil from Saudi Arabia, Russia, UAE and Iran. Not to mention that Nigeria - which is the fifth largest exporter of oil in 2010 - is only the 31st provider in China. This does not reflect a takeover of China in Africa, but clearly opportunistic behavior adopted by all importing countries: they give advantage to the suppliers with whom they have good (or bad) reasons to deal with.

Africa may appear as important supplier of China. It clearly is not the result of China’s Africa policy but a strategy of sources diversification: depending on their availability both quantitative and it policy (as for instance current discussions and negotiations with Venezuela, Colombia, Iran and Iraq). In addition, Chinese imports of mineral and oil perfectly illustrate the dependency of China in global trade and the place of Africa in the process of industry globalization of China. From 2000 to 2010, in worldwide trade of fuel and minerals, the share of products supplied from Africa remained stable at 12.1%. The share of Chinese supplies of products from Africa however increased from 4.4% to 16.6% during the same period. For all developed economies, the latter two figures were respectively 73.0% and 63.3%. In other words, the question is not about China dominating Africa but rather to point out that developed countries may fear losing a previously unchallenged domination. If the weight of China is clearly growing, it’s more the vast expansion of world trade that exaggerates the role of China: 60% of Chinese imports are the result of foreign-funded enterprises established in China and 60% of Chinese exports are made by the same companies. China imports African raw materials for processing in its own soil and sold to developed countries. Cobalt and copper from Africa, allow Nokia or Dell to manufacture phones and computers in China that are mainly sold in developed countries. These figures show the insertion into the global economy of a country that tries to make sustainable supplies with its investments.
From 2003 (first year detailed statistics are available) to 2010, Chinese direct investment in Africa has averaged 4.8% of its direct investment (FDI), half bound for the sole South Africa. Sudan, subject to all fantasies, has received only 0.1% of the Chinese money invested abroad. In 2010, 70.7% of the flows of foreign direct investment in the world are made by developed countries, 24.2% by developing countries (excluding China) and 5.1% by China. This last figure shows both the result of the crisis which temporarily discourages developed countries to invest abroad together and the strengthening of China’s investment outside its borders. In other words, Chinese investment in Africa in 2010 represented 0.2% of total global FDI, while the world was investing 4.4% of the global FDI in Africa!

Excluding tax havens (76.9% of the flow of Chinese investment abroad and 80.3% of its capital stock in 2010), the preferred destinations of China’s direct investment in the world are the developed country (as it generally the case for the whole world). Among the top twenty destination countries of FDI Chinese, there are four African countries (South Africa, Nigeria, Zambia and Algeria) totaling 2.3% of the stock of Chinese FDI. Chinese direct investment is spread across 45 African countries. Its policy is not fundamentally different from other countries. As they have huge reserves of raw materials, some countries - including Africa - are the primary beneficiaries of the largesse of all investors in the world. But China is also present in countries less targeted by foreign investment as the Democratic Republic of Congo (5th African countries for China and 24th in the world) and Niger (the seventh largest country in Africa to China and 26th in the world).

Africa is not a major market for China. While the Chinese exports to the African continent have increased by twelve from 2000 to 2010, their importance remains low (3.8% of Chinese exports). Three other countries are well ahead - South Africa, Nigeria and Egypt (respectively 18.1%, 11.2% and 10.1% of Chinese exports to Africa in 2010). If we add Liberia (7.3%), Algeria (6.7%), Morocco (4.2%), Benin (3.8%), Libya (3.4%), the Angola (3.3%), Sudan (3.3% and Ghana (3.2%) we obtain three quarters of Chinese exports to Africa.

"An Astonishing invasion of Africa is now on the way" declared Andrew Malone in an article in the Daily Mail published July 18, 2008. He denounces slavery, colonialism and the parallel secret activities of China. In fact, it’s more the image that China gives rather than its real role - even exaggerated by its own size - which feeds some dramatization in the West. The Chinese are beginning to be aware, as Chen Gong (CEO of consulting firm Anbound) who wrote in the Morning (Zao Bao) November 25, 2008, that China should stop acting like a "short sighted economic dinosaur" that’has to find the proper "way" in its relations with Africa, while respecting the "universal values".

The paranoid delusions of the first and the myopia that denounces the second one remind us that today’s priority must be to deepen the knowledge of the presence and activity of China on the African continent. The recent growth of economic and political relations between China and Africa is generally studied with a geostrategic perspective. If such approaches clearly show the new role played by China in Africa and in the world, they tend to fade the specificities. Therefore, researchers should focus their reflection on the actors facing the Chinese presence in Africa. By focusing on the variety of players in the China-Africa relationship, the image that pops up is less global, less homogeneous or less simplistic, even though it shows that there are multiple "Chinese strategies in Africa" with their own logic. Hence the need for studies such as the Julien Bokilo in which it exposes how China, France and the United States compete for access to the economy of the Republic of Congo. The author points out that behind this confrontation a larger one is undergoing with India, Brazil and, in general, all the emerging countries could compete not only with traditional Western partners but also with China itself, pretending to "save" Africa. This multiplication of partners could be beneficial for African countries if each States keeps control over their own economies in the West, in Africa and elsewhere. Keeping in mind that Total, as Sinopec, made a 2010 turnover higher than the GDP of each African country - except South Africa !

Thierry Pairault
Thierry Pairault is research director at CNRS and Vice President of the European Academy of geopolitics. He is a member of the China Centre of the EHESS where he held a seminar on the economy and society of China. He also leads a group on relations between China and countries.

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