In recent years, the GDP generated by African countries has progressed at a faster pace than that of the European Union, but it has been offset by a comparatively high increase in consumer prices. Since 2004, the EU-27 trade in goods with Africa has taken a clear upswing, the value of its imports (mainly energy products) always being superior to that of its exports (especially machinery and transport equipment). In 2008, Libya ranked first for EU-27 imports; South Africa was the main destination country for EU-27 exports to Africa. The EU-27 also displays a deficit in trade in services, considerably influenced by tourism to North African destinations.
The EU Member States that registered the highest trade volume with Africa are Italy and France.It should be noted that the valueof goods are accounted for by the country where the goods enter EU territory. The final destination of the goods might well be in another EU Member State.
Looking at FDI flows in 2007 (Table 6), Europeans built up African assets worth EUR 17.6 billion, South Africa and Nigeria attracting large shares 20% and 19% of the total volume that EU-27 invested in Africa). TheUnited Kingdom and France were the main investors in 2007. African enterprises invested close to EUR 5.5 billion in EU-27 economy. This corresponds to 1.5% of the total investment in EU-27 from non-EU countries. A disinvestment was registered for Morocco and Egypt (negative values). A considerable share (33%) of African investments in 2007 was carried out in Sweden.