South Africa and China boost trade relations

25 Jun 2019

tiesSouth Africa and China are boosting their ties, with 93 trade agreements worth R27bn having been signed between company representatives from both countries in Cape Town last Friday.

As iol.co.za reports, China is South Africa’s biggest trading partner while South Africa is China’s biggest trading partner in Africa. Their joint trade balance stood at R627m in 2018.

China’s assistant minister of commerce, Ren Hongbin, said that amid trade concerns with the US, “China will not close its doors to the world, but will open its doors wider”.

Trade and Industry Minister Ebrahim Patel emphasised on the significance of transitioning South Africa’s exports to China from primary mineral products and commodities to more value-added products, in order to enhance job opportunities and industrialisation in South Africa.

“Our countries must be decisive in addressing the diversity of our export baskets,” Patel said.

He also went on to note that the agreements signified efficient work directed towards boosting the job market in South Africa, and that it could become a notable manufacturing base for China. South Africa’s free trade and market access agreements could also be beneficial for China.

Additionally, Patel revealed that Chinese firms invested over $10bn in South Africa, although this would probably be a higher figure if investments of other private companies in China were also taken into account.