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SA eyes opportunities in China

With South Africa due to host the BRICS Summit next month, the country is keen to collaborate with and explore investment opportunities and partnerships with Chinese companies, says Trade and Industry Deputy Minister Bulelani Magwanishe.

Speaking at the reception of a Chinese business delegation at the Chinese Embassy in Tshwane on Thursday, Magwanishe said government is hard at creating an enabling environment for business to thrive.

The Zhejiang province is known for its high-tech industries, electronics and is also a leader in the 4th Industrial Revolution.

"South Africa is therefore eager for collaboration, to actively explore investment opportunities and partnerships with Chinese companies. Currently we have diversified our Special Economic Zones (SEZs) to accommodate all our attractive sectors. Our SEZ Programme offers lucrative opportunities for investors," said Magwanishe.

He said South Africa and China have been engaged in a fast growing economic relationship. China has been South Africa's top trading partner since 2009.

The Deputy Minister acknowledged the increase of Chinese investment into South Africa through platforms like Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) and the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) has been received with great enthusiasm.

He added that government is working towards enhancing business confidence and investor interest.

"With South Africa hosting the 10th BRICS Summit, it certainly is a strategic time to strengthen our collaborative efforts with the Peoples Republic of China. Our government has developed workable action plans, with sectoral areas to upscale South Africa's industrialisation capacity.

"Foreign Direct Investment, thus becomes critical to building productive capacity, through the transfer of knowledge and technology," said Magwanishe.

Benefits of partnerships

Ambassador of China to South Africa, Lin Songtian said that after 20 years of joint efforts, China and South Africa have established comprehensive strategic partnership, creating tangible and visible benefits for both countries.

He said that China has for nine years remained South Africa's largest trading partner, and one of the most important sources of foreign investment and tourists.

He added that China-South Africa relations were strategic, all-dimensional, and mutually beneficial.

"This visit is to show that China is ready to be the most reliable friend and the strongest partner in South Africa's pursuit of economic and social transformation. "China will continue to encourage and support more Chinese investors to South Africa to participate in the investment conference and jobs summit," said Songiat.

The delegation will travel to Coega Special Economic Zone and co-host with the Eastern Cape government the China-South Africa Business Forum.

This official visit is a diplomatic effort of the Chinese government to promote China-South Africa local government exchange.

The BRICS Summit will be held at the Sandton Convention Centre from 25 - 27 July.

Source: Economic Development & Investment Promotion Unit EThekwini Municipality