China's Investment Relations with African Countries

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2018-62-10-5-12

S. Ignat’ev (,
Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO), 23, Profsoyuznaya Str., Moscow 117997, Russian Federation;
S. Lukonin (,
Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO), 23, Profsoyuznaya Str., Moscow 117997, Russian Federation 


This article is devoted to investigation of China’s investment activity in Africa. The authors pay attention to the formation history of China’s investment strategy in the African market, and highlight three stages: 1) from 1950 to 1980, 2) from 1980 to 2010, and 3) from 2010 to the present. A distinctive feature of the current China’s investment strategy in Africa is medium and small companies’ entering into the African market. The main areas of Chinese investment are: mining, construction of infrastructure facilities, industrial production and financial services. Chinese financial institutions are interested in further financing of infrastructure projects because this contributes to the achievement of goals within the framework of the Chinese national economic strategy. Beijing needs to balance its export flows to Africa as well. Africa is also an important strategic location for the deployment of the Chinese navy to protect trade routes and transport hubs implemented within the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. The Port of Djibouti is an example of that strategy. It allows experts to talk about China’s economic and geopolitical expansion through the Belt and Road Initiative. The security issues of the investment and economic policy toward Africa are considered by Beijing as a necessity to protect its investments. In the medium and long-term perspective, the growth trend of Chinese investment, carried out by Chinese private sector, including small and medium-sized companies, will continue. The volume of investments in such areas as industry, transport and telecommunications will grow. The article also looks at the problems of China’s investment activity and the criticism that Beijing faces from African governments. The institutionalization of China’s trade and investment policy in the African direction, which includes the use of potential of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, China- Africa Development Fund and African Projects Support Fund, is one of important focuses of the article. 


world economy, Foreign Direct Investments, Africa, China, economic and investment projects 


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For citation:
Ignatev S., Lukonin S. China's Investment Relations with African Countries. Mirovaya ekonomika i mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya, 2018, vol. 62, No 10, pp. 5-12.

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