China-Africa Cooperation: Shanghai  Strengthens Economic Presence On The Continent

The city’s trade with Africa in the first three quarters of 2017 reached 27,649.1 billion FCFA.


Shanghai is one of China’s four municipalities (others are Beijing, Chongqing and Tianjin) with the same status as provinces and autonomous regions. Its administration is directly responsible to the central government. Located in the southeast of the country at the mouth of Yangtze River, Shanghai has only 6,340 square km of land for 24 million inhabitants. It is China’s commercial and financial centre, and international trade hub.

Over the years, the city has strengthened trade, political and social ties with Africa. Shanghai-Africa trade reached 50 billion US dollars (27,649.1 billion FCFA) in the first three quarters of 2017. Receiving a group of 27 African journalists on November 20, 2017 in Shanghai, Municipal Foreign Affairs Office officials said the municipality’s investments in Africa now stand at 46.297 billion US dollars (25,599 billion FCFA).

Some 51 African countries have trade links with Shanghai. The city’s exports to the continent include textile, ships, uploading and downloading seaport equipment, steel products and automobile components. Africa exports iron ore, diamonds, copper and other minerals to Shanghai. Shanghai has since 1963 been sending medial teams to Algeria. In the area of education, about 500 African students are currently studying in the city. Shanghai also maintains sister-city relations with five African cities.

Shanghai Municipality is China’s economic powerhouse. Its Gross Domestic Product, GDP in 2016 was 2,746.615 billion RMB (230,033 billion FCFA) or 3.7 per cent of the national total. The value of its exports and imports for the same period was 21.5 per cent of China’s total. Shanghai looks forward to becoming a bigger international trade and shipping centre by 2020. Its stock exchange ranks third in China. Some 550 regional and international institutions have their headquarters in Shanghai, while the city’s two international airports transported 100 million passengers in 2016.

A free trade zone is underway and an international science and technology centre will be set up. In the past 12 consecutive years, 600,000 jobs were created each year in Shanghai. Poverty has been eradicated and household disposable income in 2016 was 50,000 RMB (4.1 million FCFA), the highest in China. After opening the first metro line in the 1980s, Shanghai today boasts 600 km of subway network – the longest in any city in the world. Average life expectancy is 83 years, more than the national average of about 78 years.

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