• Africa emerging as a new alternative to securing supply chains of minerals
    2022-10-27 hit 1041

    KITA Chairman Christopher Koo emphasizes, “Africa emerging as a new alternative to securing supply chains of minerals” at a networking business dinner event with 12 head of diplomatic missions representing African nations



    The Korea International Trade Association invited 12 heads of diplomatic missions representing African nations and hosted a networking dinner event yesterday on October 17th at Yongbin-gwan, Hotel Shilla in downtown Seoul. Christopher Koo, the Chairman of KITA, stressed the significance of the African continent during the event as “a region that can emerge as a new alternative in diversifying the supply chains of core minerals.” Chairman Koo also pointed out, “Our relations with Africa should go beyond engaging in official development assistance (ODA) projects” and highlighted, “The areas of cooperation should be expanded to include securing supply chains of core minerals, collaboration in green energy and biotechnology sectors to eventually establish a future-oriented cooperative relations with Africa.”

    He also expressed his commitment to provide support to the African region “to encourage more Korean companies to initiate business activities in the region and contribute to Africa’s green growth, digital transformation and strengthening its manufacturing industry.” Chairman Koo also specially asked a favor to support Busan to win a bid to host the World Expo 2030. Although bilateral trade between Korea and Africa has remained low - accounting for less than 2% of Korea’s total trade - new signs are emerging that demonstrate an increase of bilateral trade between the two regions after the Covid pandemic. Last year’s figure shows bilateral trade between Korea and Africa only accounted for 1.3% of Korea’s total trade. However, the figure tallied up from January to August this year shows that the share increased to 1.4%.

    Korea’s exports to Africa and its imports from Africa amounted to USD 9 billion and USD 6.8 billion respectively as of last year, which is a 57.3% and a 63.4% increase compared to the figure posted the previous year. The African continent boasts abundant reserves of energy resources, including oil, natural gas. It also has ample reserves of rare minerals, including nickel and cobalt. 70% of global platinum and cobalt production comes from South Africa and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

    In terms of copper, Zambia is the ninth largest country in the world in terms of its known copper reserves, which is estimated at 19 million tons. The country is also the fourth largest copper producer in the world and has the fourth largest cobalt reserves, which is estimated to be approximately 270,000 tons. Korean companies are contributing to expanding digital infrastructure in the resources-rich African region by installing Internet networks and building data centers.

    Korean companies are also planning projects to construct new nuclear power plants and renewable energy production facilities in Africa. KITA prospected, “A promising future of bilateral cooperation between Korean battery companies and the African region lies ahead as the region is rich in core minerals, including platinum, cobalt and copper.” The organization expects, “We expect to see much expanded bilateral cooperation as the African region is eager to learn from Korea’s technological excellence and its experience in the fields of climate change response and digital transformation.”

    [This news is provided by Yonhap News]

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