US targets African nations for increased trade
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton hopes to recoup trade lost to China
Image © Harald Dettenborn
United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recently visited Zambia for talks over a preferential trade agreement, at a time when China has overtaken the US to become Africa’s top business partner. Overall, Chinese-African trade increased by over 40 per cent last year to $126.9 billion.
“China's presence in Africa reflects the reality that it has important and growing interests here on the continent,” said Mrs Clinton during a press conference with Zambian President Rupiah Banda, but added: “the United States does not see these interests inherently incompatible with our own interests. Expanding trade within Africa is one of the best ways to promote growth.”
Many commentators believe Mrs Clinton’s visit shows a growing interest in African economies, which the International Monetary Fund expects to grow faster than the worldwide average. During 2010, six of the world’s ten fastest-growing economies were reported to be in Africa.
This article was originally published on page 3 of the July/August 2011 issue of SATRA Bulletin.