Africa-China-trade-295x300South Africa’s biggest bank, Standard Bank, on Monday said that trade between China and Africa is likely to be over US$200 billion this year.

The bank said in a report written by its economists that “this year it is expected that Sino-Africa trade will go beyond US$200 billion up from US$166 billion in 2012.”

China accounts for 20 percent of Africa’s trade and Africa has become China’s fastest-growing export destination and trade partner. China’s trade with Africa has grown nearly twice as fast as its trade with Latin America, which is the second strongest performer, according to the report.

The bank estimated that 18 percent of Africa’s imports were sourced from China this year so far, up from 16.8 percent in 2011.

The report also said China’s imports from Africa has increased by 26 percent this year.

“Chinese firms have recognized the importance of selling goods to the large emerging economies, especially the highly populated and increasingly wealthy ones in Africa,” said the report.

Demand from African countries, especially the largest ones such as Kenya, Egypt, Angola, Nigeria and South Africa (KEANS), has simply become even more important to Chinese firms, according to the report.