South Africa and China are committed to strengthening their economic relations, says Trade and Industry Deputy Minister Fikile Majola.
The Deputy Minister said this as South Africa kicked off its Special Economic Zones (SEZ) Investment Roadshow to Chengdu, China, on Thursday.
Majola said the signing of 93 Economic and Trade Cooperation Agreements between South African and Chinese entrepreneurs in June 2019 demonstrated that South Africa and China are committed to strengthening economic relations.
“We expect these agreements to help create jobs, deepen our country’s industrialisation agenda and grow our economies,” said Majola.
The Deputy Minister, who arrived in Chengdu on Wednesday, said South Africa adopted the SEZ programme as a tool to drive the country’s industrial development, focusing on the creation of new industrial hubs.
“Many of our SEZs will focus on the beneficiation of the country’s natural resources exploiting the downstream opportunities emanating from the vast mineral reserves found in South Africa.
“This strategic approach requires a coordinated long-term planning and integration of government approaches at all levels. We have already created a competitive incentive package that includes provision of world-class infrastructure, grants for qualifying investment assets and various tax incentives,” he said.
Majola thanked the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), the Bank of China and the Ministry of Commerce of China for successfully organising the two-day SEZ roadshow.
“We appreciate your efforts and we hope to convince you to continue hosting more investment attraction roadshows. We value and appreciate our relationship, and are confident that this gathering will yield positive results for both countries. We are looking forward to a successful implementation of a comprehensive programme between now and the next roadshow in 2020,” he said.
Executive Director and Vice President of the Bank of China, Jinzhen Lin, said 300 Chinese-funded enterprises are carrying out production and operation activities in South Africa.
“The NDRC and the dti have actively created opportunities and built pragmatic exchange platforms for the enterprises of both countries. I expect entrepreneurs here to make full use of this event to explore cooperation with your country and seek win-win commercial partnerships,” said Jinzhen.
The two-day roadshow, which got underway on Thursday, will conclude on Friday.