A Triangular Relationship
Leuven Global Governance series
Edited by Jan Wouters, Jean-Christophe Defraigne and Matthieu Burnay
Chapter 10: Economic relations between China and Maghreb countries
Relations between China and African countries are becoming better known, even if Sub-Saharan Africa is more often focused on than the Maghreb region. The organization of strikes by Algerian workers employed by Chinese firms or the repatriation of more than 30 000 Chinese workers from building sites in Libya has been widely reported. On the other hand, little is said about the role that China could actually play in the economy of Maghreb countries and about the diversity of these countries in their economic relations with China. Even less is said about whether the Chinese presence in Maghreb might foster the emergence of a new and more balanced partnership between European countries and Maghreb countries and promote new European co-operation governance. To address the issue the chapter brings together statistics published by international institutions (UNCTAD and Eurostat) and by Chinese statistical services. Successively, the question of the direct investment in Maghreb countries, the export of goods from Maghreb countries and the import of Chinese goods by Maghreb countries will be analysed. Finally, the question of whether China is currently contending with European Union Member States for influence in the Maghreb will be examined, along with the extent to which this could promote a new and more balanced partnership.
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