Open in­vite to China’s business

The Star Early Edition - - BUSINESS NEWS - Siyabonga Mkhwanazi

TRADE and In­dus­try Min­is­ter Rob Davies has in­vited Chi­nese in­vestors and business peo­ple, ahead of Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma’s state visit next week, to show that South Africa is open for business and wants to in­crease its to­tal trade from beyond the cur­rent R271 bil­lion.

Davies made the state­ment yes­ter­day ahead of the state visit to strengthen trade and diplo­matic re­la­tions with China.

Amid this visit the Dalai Lama de­ba­cle loomed large in the me­dia brief­ing where In­ter­na­tional Re­la­tions Min­is­ter Maite Nkoana-Masha­bane skirted the is­sue.

Nkoana-Masha­bane would not say whether the is­sue would be raised with the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment when Zuma meets Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping.

Nkoana-Masha­bane and Davies were brief­ing jour­nal­ists in Pre­to­ria and Cape Town on next week’s trip to China.

Zuma would lead a high-pow­ered del­e­ga­tion of min­is­ters and more than 100 business peo­ple to China to strengthen trade and diplo­matic re­la­tions with the world’s sec­ond largest econ­omy.

South Africa is a close ally of China and has been friends with Beijing for years, es­pe­cially after it started full diplo­matic re­la­tions with it more than15 years ago. This was after then pres­i­dent Nel­son Man­dela cut ties with Tai­wan.

Davies said the state visit would open new business and eco­nomic op­por­tu­ni­ties for South Africa. Trade be­tween the two coun­tries has in­creased sig­nif­i­cantly over the past few years.

From 2008 to 2013 to­tal trade grew from R121bn to R271bn. This would have to be in­creased.

How­ever, Davies said they were con­cerned about trade im­bal­ance and it was one of the ar­eas they wanted to ad­dress.

They need to en­sure that there was bal­anced trade be­tween the two coun­tries. A work­ing group, drawn from the two coun­tries, has been deal­ing with this mat­ter for some time.

China is now South Africa’s sec­ond-largest trad­ing part­ner glob­ally. China’s econ­omy has been grow­ing at a mas­sive scale in the last few years.

He said other than gov­ern­ment to gov­ern­ment business in Beijing there would be mem­o­ran­dums of un­der­stand­ing to be signed among business groups.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.