In recent data released by the Chinese General Administration of Customs, it has been revealed that China's imports and exports with fellow BRICS members experienced notable growth of 19.1% year-on-year, reaching ¥2.38 trillion (approximately US$330.62 billion) between January and July 2023. The BRICS, comprised of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, have collectively strengthened their economic ties.
China's exports saw a robust year-on-year growth of 23.9%, amounting to ¥1.23 trillion (US$168.6 billion), while imports increased by 14.3% compared to the previous year, reaching ¥1.15 trillion (US$157.6 billion). These statistics highlight a significant equilibrium in trade between China and the BRICS nations.
Trade with BRICS countries constituted 10.1% of China's overall foreign trade during the first seven months of 2023, solidifying the importance of this economic partnership.
Comparatively, the previous year (2022) saw a 17% increase in China's trade with BRICS over the figures recorded in 2021.
Furthermore, China's trade with African nations has shown a consistent upward trajectory, growing by 7.4% during the same January to July 2023 period, reaching ¥1.22 trillion (approximately US$158.36 billion) compared to ¥1.14 trillion recorded in 2022. This positive trend builds upon the 14.8% increase in trade observed in the previous year over 2021.
Among the BRICS member states, South Africa has emerged as China's largest trading partner in Africa, followed closely by Nigeria and Angola.
It is noteworthy that China remains Africa's primary export destination, with imports during the first seven months of 2023 amounting to ¥426.65 billion. These imports consist of various commodities, including crude oil, iron ore, copper, and a 20% increase in agricultural products, valued at ¥23.66 billion.
In a significant development, China's trade with the United States during the same period amounted to US$324.9 billion. This indicates that China's trade with the BRICS collectively has now marginally exceeded its trade with the United States, underscoring the evolving dynamics of international trade.
Furthermore, starting from January 2024, the BRICS alliance will expand to include additional member countries, such as Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE. This expansion is expected to further bolster the economic clout of the BRICS bloc in Beijing, potentially surpassing its influence compared to Washington. The changing landscape of global trade alliances is a notable development to monitor in the coming years.