BEIJING, China:July 18 (Xinhua) — Protests, conflicts and other turmoil that took place in multiple North African countries last year exerted limited impact on China-Africa trade, according to an annual report by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

The report on African development released in early July said China-Africa trade volume in 2011 reached a historic high of 166.3 billion U.S. dollars, a year-on-year increase of more than 30 percent.

There was rapid growth in trade with Sudan, Egypt, Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia despite a decline with Libya in 2011. The report said the turmoil in north Africa did not have a significant impact on China-Africa trade, adding that two north African countries ranked among China’s top five African trade partners in 2011.

North African countries face the task of boosting their economies,people’s livelihoods and social stability, which will provide cooperative opportunities for China’s enterprises, said senior diplomat Wu Chunhua.

Statistics show that as of 2011, Chinese direct investment in Africa exceeded 14.7 billion U.S. dollars, with more than 2,000 Chinese-invested businesses operating in the continent.

“China-Africa cooperation in the new century features significant economic engagement, mutual benefit and increasing efforts to build up Africa’s ability to independently develop, “said Qi Jianhua, director of the research center on France and French-speaking countries at the China Foreign Affairs University.

China will train a total of 20,000 professionals in multiple fields to send to Africa between 2010 and 2012, according to a pledge made by Premier Wen Jiabao at the fourth Ministerial Conference of Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in 2009.

The FOCAC mechanism will have an important influence on reinforcing China-Africa relations and establishing a new global political and economic order, Qi said. The fifth FOCAC ministerial conference opens in Beijing on Thursday. (Xinhua)

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