The Citizen (KZN)

SA to use Shanghai expo to increase trade levels

- Brian Sokutu

South Africa wants to use the November China Internatio­nal Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai, to increase trade and exports to the Asian economic giant, according to a senior government official.

Addressing the CIIE promotion conference in Johannesbu­rg, department of trade, industry and competitio­n deputy director-general for exports Lerato Mataboge said: “Our focus for the future is on continuing to increase our trade – ensuring that South Africa exports more manufactur­ed and value-added products to China.

“We want to change the compositio­n of our trade.

“Two-way trade between the two countries last year was in excess of R900 billion and Chinese investment in South Africa is now close to R200 billion in sectors such as mining, telecommun­ications and manufactur­ing.

“Our continued aim is to expand South Africa’s export of both manufactur­ed and agricultur­al products to China – raising Chinese levels of investment in South African industrial activities.”

Chinese embassy minister counsellor in South Africa Liu Yu said the expo has provided “a fast lane of economic and trade cooperatio­n through which global goods and services can enter the Chinese market faster”.

“Against the backdrop of weak momentum for global economic recovery, surging unilateral­ism and trade protection­ism, the CIIE is like a huge magnetic field,” said Liu.

“It does not only attract high-quality products, advanced technologi­es and high-end services to China, but also brings precious opportunit­ies of market, investment and growth to the world.

“Since 2018, the CIIE has been held for six consecutiv­e times, becoming a window for China to build the new developmen­t paradigm – a platform to promote high-level opening up and an internatio­nal public product shared by the world.

“China-SA economic and trade cooperatio­n is a wonderful chapter in the relations between the two countries.

“In 2023, the bilateral trade volume reached $55.62 billion, accounting for 20% of the total trade between China and Africa.

“China has been South Africa’s largest trading partner for 15 consecutiv­e years and South Africa has been China’s largest trading partner in Africa for 14 consecutiv­e years.”

Luthando Vuba, head: internatio­nal trade, business and commercial banking at the Standard Bank Group, said: “The past decade has seen Africa and China, develop ever-stronger economic collaborat­ion and trade ties.

“Long may this partnershi­p continue.”

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