In the initial two months, China experienced a significant surge in its exports to the Global South.

China’s exports experienced a year-on-year increase of 10.3% in RMB, propelled by substantial jumps ranging from 20% to 40% in exports to countries such as India, Brazil, Indonesia, Vietnam, South Africa, and other nations in the Global South. This surge more than offset the notable declines in shipments to developed markets, including the US (-7%), the European Union (-6.8%), and Japan (-2.5%). Notably, significant gains were observed in BRICS members such as India (+16%), Brazil (+37.1%), and South Africa (+14.8%), as well as in Vietnam (+28.4%) and Indonesia (+22.2%).

China’s exports to the Global South have outpaced those to all developed markets since late 2022 and 2023, a trend that appears to be accelerating based on preliminary January-February data.

The success of China’s exports to the Global South can be attributed in part to Chinese investment in the region through initiatives like the Belt and Road Initiative, as well as through private channels. Outbound Chinese investment in the Asia-Pacific region surged by 37% to US$20 billion in 2023, a development that is reshaping the global economy, as highlighted by William Pesek in Asia Times on March 11, 2024.

China’s dominance in supply chains across key industries, including telecommunications equipment, solar panels, and electronics, is noteworthy. The strategies of “re-shoring” and “friend-shoring” have increasingly routed Chinese trade through third-party countries, notably Mexico, India, and Vietnam.

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