SA, China trade worth billions – Zuma

2014-12-05 16:32

At the end of last year, bilateral trade between South Africa and China exceeded R270 billion, says President Jacob Zuma.

“China’s investment into South Africa is cumulatively valued at approximately R120bn, with over 100 state-owned entities and multinational companies investing in South Africa,” said Zuma at a business forum meeting in China today.

“This has served to promote South African culture and the economy and to advance co-operation in many spheres.”

Zuma said that in 2013, 130 foreign companies entered South Africa for the first time or expanded their investments.

“This contributing to total direct investment of $8.2bn, which is double the figure for 2012.”

“We are encouraged by the fact that South Africa’s foreign direct investment outlook continues to be positive.”

Yesterday, Zuma met Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang, and agreements were made to strengthen bilateral relations and trade ties.

“We have agreed that China would encourage buying missions to South Africa starting early in 2015, as part of promoting a balance in our trade relations.”

One of these was Operation Phakisa, an initiative aimed at unlocking the country’s ocean economy.

“We are pleased that China is keen to share lessons and co-operate with us in the implementation of our ambitious blue economy programme, Operation Phakisa,” said Zuma.

The ocean economy was chosen as it was about 3924km long, relatively unexplored in terms of its economic potential and contributed about R54bn to the economy in 2010.

“It is estimated that the ocean has the potential to contribute approximately R177bn and create up to one million direct jobs,” said Zuma.

Chinese investment in key areas, including the beneficiation of mineral resources, improvement of industrial capacity, and enhancement of agro-processing and energy, in particular nuclear energy co-operation, were also welcomed.

“We regard the memorandum of understanding on co-operation between the China National Nuclear Corporation and the Nuclear Energy Corporation of SA, as a mechanism which will enhance the mutual exchange of information, best practices and lessons learnt in the nuclear energy sector, which will also encourage and identify additional opportunities for co-operation.”

Zuma also welcomed Chinese investment in the tourism industry.

“China has been South Africa’s fourth largest source market for tourist arrivals for the second year in a row, growing by 14.7% to reach 151 847 tourist arrivals in 2013.”

“We want to see tourism and people to people exchanges further expanding.

In order to make South Africa more attractive for foreign direct investment.”

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