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Win-win or unequal exchange? The case of the Sino-Congolese cooperation agreements

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  28 July 2009

Stefaan Marysse*
Affiliation:
Institute of Development Policy and Management, University of Antwerp, Prinsstraat 13, 2000 Antwerp, Belgium
Sara Geenen*
Affiliation:
Institute of Development Policy and Management, University of Antwerp, Prinsstraat 13, 2000 Antwerp, Belgium

Abstract

The recent involvement of China in sub-Saharan Africa is challenging and changing the world geostrategic scene. In the article, we analyse the agreements between the Congolese government and a group of Chinese state-owned enterprises. A number of public infrastructure works will be financed with Chinese loans. To guarantee reimbursement, a Congolese/Chinese joint venture will be created to extract and sell copper, cobalt and gold. These are the biggest trade/investment agreements that China has so far signed in Africa. This article seeks to contribute to the discussion regarding the agreement's impact on internal development in Congo. Does it create a ‘win-win’ situation for all, or is it an unequal exchange? We outline the internal and international debates and analyse several noteworthy characteristics of the agreements. In conclusion, we present a balanced view on the likely impact on Congo's short-term and long-term development.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2009

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