21 Jul 2012

China increases loans pledged to Africa

8:22 am on 21 July 2012

China has pledged $US20 billion in credit for Africa over the next three years, in a push for closer ties and increased trade.

President Hu Jintao made the announcement at a summit in Beijing with leaders from 50 African nations, the BBC reports.

He said the loans would support infrastructure, agriculture and the development of small businesses.

China is Africa's largest trading partner and also its biggest aid donor, while Africa is an important source of raw materials to feed China's economic boom and a market for cheap Chinese products.

The loan is double the amount China pledged for a previous three-year period in 2009.

Trade between China and Africa hit a record high of $US166 billion in 2011, Chinese Commerce Minister Chen Deming has written in the China Daily newspaper.