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View From Beijing: How the COVID-19 Crisis is Impacting China-Africa Trade

So far, Africa has been spared from an outbreak of the deadly COVID-19 that has killed more than a thousand people in China and infected tens of thousands across the country. But now, more and more, the impact from a contagion half a world away is causing economic distress in a growing number of African countries.

With most Chinese factories idled, demand for raw materials used for industrial production has plummeted. Similarly, with most flights between the two regions canceled, African farmers have to find other ways to get their perishable goods to China. And the supply chains for everything from cell phones to cement along with countless other products that Africans import from China have all been disrupted.

A lot of businesses, in both China and Africa, are wondering what’s going to happen and what it will take to get trade moving again.

Walter Ruigu is fielding those same questions every day from his office in Beijing where his clients in half a dozen African countries are eagerly trying to get their orders out of China.

Walter is the Managing Director of the global trading firm CAMAL Group and joins Eric to discuss how the burgeoning COVID-19 crisis is impacting China-Africa trade and why he’s optimistic that goods and trade will start to move again within the next 1-2 weeks.

Show Notes:

About Walter Ruigu:

Walter Ruigu is the Managing Director of CAMAL Group, an independent trade and investment advisory firm based in Beijing. CAMAL supports producers of mineral commodities in accessing China and Asian markets. The firm also supports mining and construction companies in their international procurement of capital equipment. Correspondingly, CAMAL supports Chinese companies with a “go global” agenda to enter the African market. CAMAL has worked with mining and construction companies in various countries, enabling them to successfully export minerals such as manganese and chrome to China and to procure quality capital goods. It has also facilitated numerous strategic partnerships between Chinese and African companies.

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