It’s important to observe that, whilst our media generally focuses on the trading relationship between China and the West, there has been a dramatic surge in Chinese exports to the ‘Global South’, which includes:
According to one observer, Chen Feng, “China divides the external export cycle into two sub-cycles: Europe and the United States on one hand, and the Belt and Road/Asia, Africa and Latin America on the other”. Decoupling from the West and expanding influence and trade in emerging markets will have a significant impact for China in so many ways – economic, social and geo-political – and it will also open up new opportunities for globally minded investors.
The impact of this trend is well documented in a recent issue of the Asia Times which makes the point that “half a billion people in neighbouring countries now depend on Chinese technology for communications, data processing and logistics, providing China with a nearly limitless source of young workers for its industries and an ever-expanding export market”.
Some of the more eye-catching statistics highlighted in this article include:
- China’s trade with the Global South plus South Korea and Taiwan is now as large as its combined exports to the US and Europe.
- Chinese exports to Mexico are now 16% of the country’s total, including investments of US$5.8 billion, as “Chinese companies are moving facilities out of the United States”.
- Brazil has received more than half of all Chinese investment in Latin America – around US$66 billion
- Turkey’s imports from China have tripled since 2018. China is also Turkey’s largest export market.
- India’s consumption of Chinese goods has doubled in two years