Chinese firms aim for W Cape

A Hisense technician explains the flat screen TV manufacturing process to MEC Donald Grant at the factory in Atlantis. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)
A Hisense technician explains the flat screen TV manufacturing process to MEC Donald Grant at the factory in Atlantis. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Cape Town - The Western Cape has emerged as a leading business destination for major Chinese firms, according to Alan Winde, the province's Minister of Economic Opportunities.

He said major Chinese electronics manufacturer Hisense reports increased productivity and sales at its plant in Atlantis outside Cape Town.

Hisense is one of the world’s biggest manufacturers of white goods and electronics. It set up its manufacturing plant in Atlantis in 2013 and employs about 700 people. Hisense is also making a strong South African play and launched a new set of smartphones for the SA market in November.

Winde said Chinese businesses have also identified the Western Cape’s renewable energy sector as a key investment opportunity. Jinko-Solar, which produces solar panels, and wind power producer China Longyuan are two examples of Chinese companies that have successfully set up operations in the province.

“Hisense built its initial investment on the daily production of 350 refrigerators and 750 fridges. The daily output of Hisense in the province now stands at 1 700 televisions and 1 200 refrigerators. Through innovation and continued training, they have been able to drive this phenomenal growth," said Winde.

“Hisense has production facilities across the world and the Western Cape is on par with the best of these. In terms of market share, Hisense is now ranked second in South Africa on sales of televisions and refrigerators."

Last year the value of its exports to SA's neighbouring countries was worth over US $10m.

“I am confident the designation of the Atlantis Special Economic Zone will serve as a major draw card for Chinese businesses in this sector,” said Winde.

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