Open invite to China’s business
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.