The South African government has signed several agreements with China, including an investment commitment from China to the tune of $14.7 billion. This was announced on Tuesday after the State visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping, where he met with President Cyril Ramaphosa to further deepen trade and bilateral relations.
“President Xi Jinping has indicated that China is ready to invest and work with South Africa in various sectors, such as infrastructure development, the ocean economy, green economy, science and technology, agriculture, environment and finance,” President Ramaphosa told a media briefing after their official talks.
Some of the agreements signed are in trade and industry, agriculture and science and technology, including a visa agreement. Several South African State-owned companies also benefitted. These are Transnet, Naspers and power utility Eskom.
The power SOC bagged a $2.5 billion loan agreement with China’s Development Bank. As things stand, total trade between South Africa and China has been growing since 2009, moving from R118 billion to R271 billion by the end of 2013.
However, while there is a trade imbalance between China and South Africa. Both South Africa and China hope that these newly signed agreements and investment commitment will help balance the trade between Pretoria and the Asian giant.
Speaking through an interpreter, President Xi said the two countries need to start a new chapter of elevating their relations. The two countries also committed to further increase development cooperation in infrastructure, trade, technology and financial cooperation to unlock collaboration potential.
President Xi called for strengthened collaboration and strategic coordination in international organisations such as the UN, G20 and BRICS in order to promote the reform of the global governance system in a joint effort to advance the fundamental interests of African and other developing countries.
President Ramaphosa said both countries will continue to advance the centrality of the UN and other multilateral fora in resolving issues of global concern. The State visit forms part of a number of activities South Africa and China committed to jointly undertake during the course of this year under the umbrella of the celebration of the 20th anniversary of diplomatic relations.