„The launch of the AfCFTA lays a new foundation for China-Africa cooperation,“ said Geng Shuang, a spokesman for China`s foreign minister. Beijing, he said, will continue to invest in „infrastructure connectivity, trade infrastructure and industrial promotion“ as part of the country`s Belt and Road Initiative. For most African countries, most of their trade with countries and regions outside Africa. As a result, the majority of African goods leave the continent while countries remain commodities. This hinders economic growth in many African countries and is the reason why the AfCFTA is being developed to stimulate the movement of goods and capital within Africa. If the AfCFTA is implemented with careful reflection, it will play a crucial role in Africa`s development. Therefore, any African government interested in signing a free trade agreement with China should check whether or not the terms of the free trade agreement comply with the AfCFTA. ESwatini is the only African country to recognize Taiwan vis-à-vis China and bilateral trade passes through either Taiwan or Hong Kong. These are quantifiable points, although partially dependent on the political landscape. It will take time. In the longer term, and given the huge network of Chinese free trade zones and economies that has emerged along the Belt and Road Initiative, including throughout Africa, further study is warranted. China has been an important mediator in the agreement and has used its diplomatic, political and trade strength to take advantage of an agreement covering 52 out of 55 African countries (only Benin, Eritrea and Nigeria have not joined). AfCTFA covers a territory worth more than $3 trillion in GDP and removes tariffs on 90% of trade across the continent.
More than 1.2 billion African consumers will be affected by the agreement. TEDA`s business model will be a little different this time. Instead of attracting foreign investors to Tianjin, they are now focusing on bringing Chinese investors to Africa. One of them is Chinese glass fiber producer Jushi, which has helped Egypt become one of the world`s largest fiber optic producers and exporters. Other free trade development zones will certainly develop on the African continent. Professor Waleed Gab-Allah, of Cairo University`s Financial and Economic Services, was quoted in Xinhua with the forecast of a 50 percent increase in Chinese exports to AfCFTA countries when the agreement enters into force. „The African Free Trade Agreement will encourage more Chinese companies to work and invest in the Egyptian Economic Zone to take advantage of the Suez Canal`s passage to Africa with reduced tariffs,“ he said. In terms of trade impact, the AfCFTA will increase intra-regional trade (within regional economic communities) by 14.6 per cent, while intra-African trade would increase by about 107 per cent. In addition, the implementation of the TFA would further increase intra-African trade by 51%. These are significant figures. However, the AfCFTA is not only an agreement that benefits the Chinese, although the structuring and timing of the agreement had all the characteristics of China`s organizational capabilities.
International companies from all over the world can benefit from the creation of an African subsidiary. In this series of articles, I will examine each of the possible scenarios that could occur in the development of free trade within the BRICS. In this article, I explore the potential of China`s engagement in the South African Customs Union (SACU). For its part, China has already made efforts to develop free trade development zones in Africa. . . .