SA signs ‘political mutual trust’ agreements with China

2014-12-05 06:46

South Africa and China have signed a number of strategic agreements aimed at strengthening bilateral relations and strengthening trade ties.

The agreements were signed during state visit by President Jacob Zuma to China where he held official talks with his counterpart, President Xi Jinping, spokesperson Mac Maharaj said yesterday.

One of the agreements was a five- to 10-year strategic programme on cooperation, focusing on bilateral cooperation including “political mutual trust and strategic coordination” and cooperation in international affairs and issues related to Brics (the partnership between Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa).

The countries also agreed to further improve bilateral cooperation in trade and investment to redress the structural imbalance in the two countries’ bilateral trade.

An action plan on agriculture cooperation, including protocol of phytosanitory requirements – that is, the control of plant diseases – for maize and apples exported from South Africa to China, and for dates exported from China to South Africa, was signed.

“The signing of the agriculture-related agreements was affirmation that both countries stand ready to strengthen personnel and technology exchanges as well as promote agricultural capacity building through exchanging delegations,” Maharaj said.

Zuma said: “We will also look at ways of enhancing cooperation in various sectors such as finance, the environment including cooperation in ocean economy, trade and investment, as well as transport and agriculture”.

Zuma also called for improved financial sector cooperation to allow the countries easier access to each other’s markets.

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