PRETORIA, June 15 – The South African government has prioritised the enhancement of business confidence and investor interest in order to create an enabling environment for business to thrive.
This is according to Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry Bulelani Magwanishe who on Thursday welcomed a business delegation from Zhenjiang Province in China.
Speaking at the Chinese Embassy in Pretoria, Magwanishe said the two countries – both members of BRICS – have been engaged in a fast-growing economic relationship, and China has been South Africa’s top trading partner since 2009.
He added that the increase of Chinese investment in the country through platforms like BRICS and the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) has been received with great enthusiasm.
“With South Africa hosting the 10th BRICS Summit, it certainly is a strategic time to strengthen our collaborative efforts with the Peoples Republic of China,” he said. “Our government has developed workable action plans, with sectoral areas to upscale South Africa’s industrialisation capacity. Foreign Direct Investment, thus becomes critical to building productive capacity, through the transfer of knowledge and technology.”
Secretary of the Communist Party of China, Che Jun brought 160 top-performing entrepreneurs and government officials on economic development as part of the visit which will see the delegation travel to the Coega Special Economic Zone in the Eastern Cape and co-host with the Eastern Cape government the China-South Africa Business Forum.
At the welcoming event, Magwanishe commended and recognised the Zhejiang Province for its high-tech industries, electronics and as a leader in the 4th Industrial Revolution.
“South Africa is therefore eager for collaboration, to actively explore investment opportunities and partnerships with Chinese companies,” he said. “Currently we have diversified our Special Economic Zones (SEZs) to accommodate all our attractive sectors. Our SEZ Programme offers lucrative opportunities for investors.”
China ambassador South Africa, Lin Songtian said that after 20 years of joint efforts, China and South Africa had established comprehensive strategic partnerships, creating tangible and visible benefits for both countries.
He said that China has for nine years remained South Africa’s largest trading partner, and one of the most important sources of foreign investment and tourists.
He added that the Chinese government was taking the lead to respond to and support the New Investment Drive of recruiting $100 billion in the next five years proposed by SA President Cyril Ramaphosa.
“This visit is to show that China is ready to be the most reliable friend and the strongest partner in South Africa’s pursuit of economic and social transformation. China will continue to encourage and support more Chinese investors to South Africa to participate in the investment conference and jobs summit,” added Songtian.
– African News Agency (ANA)