Deputy President David Mabuza has arrived in Beijing ahead of his working visit to the People’s Republic of China, where he will co-chair the 7th Session of the South Africa-China Bi-National Commission (BNC).
The South Africa-China BNC is scheduled to take place from 31 October to 3 November 2019, in both Beijing and Shanghai.
This important bilateral platform will be preceded by engagements between the political leadership of the two countries.
Established in 2002, the South Africa-China BNC serves as a strategic platform to address issues of common interest such as trade promotions and economic exchanges.
Mabuza and a delegation — which includes the Deputy Ministers of International Relations and Cooperation, Masego Dlamini; Trade and Industry, Fikile Majola and Environmental, Forestry and Fisheries, Makhotso Magdeline Sotyu — were received by the Chinese Ambassador to South Africa, Lin Songtian, together with the South African Ambassador in Beijing, Deborah Balatseng.
The working visit by the Deputy President takes place in the context of strengthening South-South cooperation and consolidating the already existing bilateral political and economic relations between South Africa and China.
In its agenda of promoting a better Africa and a better world, South Africa and China are working closely in promoting mutually beneficial relations at both a continental and global stage.
“Our agenda of building mutually beneficial relations remains a fundamental pillar of South Africa’s foreign policy. China is a central partner and a fraternal friend that continues to support the development agenda of our country and continent.
“Therefore, these economic and trade relations between South Africa and China signify an ever growing partnership,” said Mabuza.
Driven by this important bilateral diplomatic mechanism, several sectoral committees such as Economy and Trade; Minerals; Energy; Foreign Affairs, Science and Technology were formed to cement relations between the two countries.
The strategic diplomatic relations between SA and China have resulted in the adoption of the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership Agreement, which was signed in 2010.
The agreement prioritised improving the structure of trade between the two countries by working towards a more balanced trade profile and encouraging trade in value-added manufactured products.
This would be achieved through Chinese enterprises investing in South Africa’s manufacturing industry, as well as actively promoting the sourcing of value-added products by China from South African suppliers.
Currently, South Africa has a total of about 26 companies investing in China, with a capital expenditure of R88 billion between January 2003 and August 2019.
China, on the other hand, has a total of 88 companies that are investing in South Africa, with a capital expenditure of R116 billion over the same period.