Bloomberg News

Africa Taps New Trade, Investment as Korea, Turkey Follow China

June 06, 2011

June 6 (Bloomberg) -- India, Turkey, South Korea and Brazil are emulating China’s push to boost trade with Africa, eroding the market share of the continent’s traditional European and North American trading partners, according to the 2011 African Economic Outlook.

So-called emerging partners accounted for about 39 percent of Africa’s trade in merchandize in 2009, up from 23 percent a decade earlier, said the report, released in Lisbon today.

The outlook was produced by the African Development Bank, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the United Nations Development Programme and the UN Economic Commission for Africa.

“Africa now has two engines to fly on,” OECD economist Jean-Phillipe Stijns, one of the report’s authors, said by phone from Paris. “The diversification of its trading partners bodes well for its ability to resist better the ups and downs of the global business cycle.”

China accounted for 13.9 percent of Africa’s total trade of $629 billion in 2009, while India accounted for 5.1 percent, South Korea 2.6 percent, Brazil 2.5 percent, Turkey 2.4 percent and Thailand 1.1 percent, according to the outlook.

Africa’s new trading partners may also help it reduce its reliance on exports of raw materials. While 85 percent of foreign direct investment flows from traditional investors go into resource-rich countries, the ratio for emerging partners is closer to 70 percent, according to Stijns.

“There is this perception that emerging partners, more than any other partners, are resource hungry and the reason they are in Africa is to get the lion’s share of natural resources,” he said. “They are not the culprits. In fact emerging partners are more diversified in terms of where they are active in Africa than traditional partners.”

--Editors: Philip Sanders, Karl Maier

To contact the reporter on this story: Mike Cohen in Cape Town at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew Barden at

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