China's Export-Import Bank and Africa: New Lending, New Challenges

November 06, 2006

The rise of China's political and economic clout has been felt especially strongly in Africa. The November 2006 Africa summit in Beijing ended with the Chinese government pledging to double both aid and trade with African nations. The Export-Import Bank of China is a growing—if still mostly unknown—instrument of China's strategy to secure access to natural resources and reassert itself on the global stage. This CGD Note presents basic facts about China ExIm and identifies potential implications for Africa and the West. The authors conclude that, to the extent that Chinese export credit promotes economic growth in Africa, recent trends should be welcomed. But China's new activities on the continent could present complications, especially if Chinese loans lead to a new debt crisis. Western powers would do well to become informed about China ExIm's activities and to engage with China—bilaterally and through multilateral organizations such as the OECD, WTO and IMF—on issues related to Africa's development.

See also:China and Africa Lovefest: Chicken Little or Nirvana?
a Views from the Center blog post by Todd Moss.

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