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Trade and Investment Cooperation between Asia and Africa: Selected Issues

By Chandrakant Patel | October 1, 2005

Excerpt from the Conclusion: The conjuncture of rapid structural transformation in a growing number of economies of Asia, signs of revival in Africa’s economic performance and stagnation in demand and income growth in the advanced economies provide a useful point of reference for assessing efforts to strengthen Afro-Asian economic cooperation. The meeting of the Heads of States of Asia and Africa in Bandung earlier this year (on the occasion of the commemoration of the fiftieth anniversary of the first Bandung conference) has given considerable impetus to further strengthen the burgeoning ties between the two regions. Emerging complementarities between them, buttressed by macroeconomic reforms of the recent past, have contributed to a rapid growth in trade, investment and other financial flows between them. The expansion in inter-regional trade has, potentially, far reaching consequences not only for two regions but also for the world economy. It signals, for example, a paradigmatic shift in the centre-periphery pattern of trade that has historically defined South’s relations with the North. These shifts are also likely to affect the quality of trade relations: intra-developing-country trade is more likely to reflect equality and mutuality of interests, unlike the rancor and dependence that often characterizes North-South trade relations.

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