SA working on improving trade volumes
Jeff Radebe, Minister in the Presidency for Performance Monitoring and Evaluation, held a meeting with a high-level Chinese delegation from the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) of China on Friday afternoon.
He said, “We are working towards the promotion of competitive products to expand trade volumes, improve trade structure and promote balanced and sustainable development of bilateral trade volumes on the current basis.
“This includes China giving favourable consideration in expanding its imports of the top ten value-added products from South Africa.”
Total imports from China in 2015 were valued at R199.4 billion compared to South African exports into China of R94.4 billion, resulting in a trade deficit of R105 billion.
South Africa’s agricultural exports amounted to R1.1 billion while agricultural imports from China were R1.7 billion in 2015. The trade balance for the mining sector remained positive.
South Africa and China have committed to increasing direct investment in agriculture, fishery, energy and manufacturing, among others.
Government has established Invest SA, which is a one-stop shop investment centre coordinated by an Inter-Ministerial Committee chaired by President Zuma.
Invest SA has identified several high impact priority projects in water, energy, ports and rail. At a national and continental level, infrastructure remains a critical priority focus.
In addition, the Presidential Infrastructure Champion Initiative (PICI) emphasises the importance of infrastructure investment to ensure job creation and the transfer of expertise.
Key projects identified by the PICI include the Grand Inga Hydro Project and the Lesotho Highlands Water Project Phase 2.
The Chinese delegation said, “[South Africa] has played an important role in global governance and climate change.
“The two countries… have gone from a partnership to a strategic partnership. Co-operation between the two countries has become a template for cooperation between China and other African countries.
“China has become South Africa’s largest trading partner for seven consecutive years. In 2015 bilateral trade between the two countries amounted to $46 billion while about 140 large-scale Chinese companies are [operating] in South Africa,” said the delegation.