Premier Li Keqiang in Africa: The Importance of Angola for China


Alex Vines

Publication date: 

Tuesday, 6 May 2014


  • Article


Produced by ACUI

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Li Keqiang’s first official trip to sub-Saharan Africa as Chinese premier from 4-11 May 2014 is a reminder that China is a major  player in Africa today. The trade figures speak for themselves:in 2009, China overtook the United States as Africa's biggest trading partner. Bilateral trade between China and African countries reached $210 billion in 2013 and Angola was also for China the second largest source of imported oil after Saudi Arabia.

Angola aside, these figures hide though that Africa accounts for only 5 per cent ($198.4 billion) of China’s global trade ($3.867 trillion) and $3 billion less than 4 per cent of foreign direct investment (FDI) globally in 2012 ($77.2 billion). Africa remains a low priority for Chinese policy makers currently, but not so for African governments who keenly seek Chinese trade and investment. China also finds that its actions in Africa have attracted a disproportionate level of international attention.