Foreign Trade: Inner Mongolia Inches Lucrative African Market

The Chinese region’s trade with the continent in 2016 reached 177 Billion FCFA.

Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region is located in northeastern China on the border with Mongolia and Russia. With capital Hohhot City, the region covers 1.183 million square km and has a population of 25.11 million. All but one of China’s 56 ethnic groups - except the Lhoba people – are represented in Inner Mongolia. Over the years, the region has seen its business ties with Africa increase.

Addressing 27 visiting African journalists in Hohhot City on June 23, 2017, Ding Xiaolong, a senior official with Inner Mongolia’s Commerce Department, said the region’s trade with Africa in 2016 was worth 302 million US Dollars (about 177 Billion FCFA). Iron ore, oil and coal were some of the items exported to China by Mauritania, Madagascar, Nigeria and South Africa.  On the other hand, Inner Mongolia exported antibiotics, steel, passenger cars, etc to Africa in 2016, Xiaolong disclosed.  

Inner Mongolia’s total exports in 2016 reached 4.471 Billion US Dollars (about 2,620 Billion FCFA), while imports were worth 7.3 Billion US Dollars (or 4,279 Billion FCFA). The Inner Mongolia North Heavy Truck Ltd produces 1,000 units a year, the leading such company in China. It exports heavy-duty trucks (from 28 tonnes to 330 tonnes) for use in open mines to 60 countries, including Zambia, Namibia, South Africa, Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo, DRC and Zimbabwe. “DRC is the largest partner in Africa. The company recently signed a supply deal with Algeria,” Xiaolong noted.  

Though Inner Mongolia is not as developed as the western and southern parts of China, it boasts 190,000 km of tarred roads, 13,500 km of rail, 24,000 public health facilities and 18 seaports, Luo Yonghong, a senior official of the regional government disclosed. The region’s trade volume for last year was 11.7 Billion US Dollars (or 6,856 Billion FCFA). Gross Domestic Product, GDP for 2016 was 1.86 Trillion Yuan Renminbi (about 1,598 Trillion FCFA), while per capita GDP for the same period was 74,000 Yuan Renminbi (or 6.4 Million FCFA).

In the area of education, 12 Million Yuan Renminbi (over 1 Billion FCFA) is allocated each year for foreign scholarships. In 2016, there were 3,300 foreign students on scholarship, with a good number from Africa, Luo Yonghong said.




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