Mashatile commits to deepen trade with China, increase value-added products

Deputy President Paul Mashatile says South Africa will continue to explore various avenues of strengthening and deepening long-standing economic, trade and people-to-people relations with China.

“By advancing more South African value-added products from a top 10 category to an exponential top 100 products, we are confident that we are making progress in our bilateral trade,” he said on Sunday.

The Deputy President was speaking during his open remarks at the 6th China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai.

“We commend the Chinese government’s efforts to continuously host the CIIE, thereby opening this market to the world, and to Africa in particular.”

Mashatile described the expo as a unique platform that provides companies around the world the opportunity to showcase their products and services, and expand their network.

It is also a platform to conclude trade deals, while companies learn about the culture of doing business with Chinese enterprises and get first-hand information on compliance and adherence to Chinese protocols.

The country’s second-in-command said South Africa has optimised the space accorded to it at the Country Pavilion for Trade and Investment, where 25 South African entities -- comprising provincial trade and investment agencies, export councils and other manufacturers -- have been supported to exhibit at this premier location.

“We have also secured additional space at the Enterprise and Business Fair. A further 11 business enterprises are showcasing the best of South Africa’s agricultural produce and agro-processing products,” Mashatile said.

The stalls include value-added products in the diverse sectors of creative industries, medical equipment, clothing and textiles, cosmetics, metals, mining and engineering services, manufacturing, and aerospace and defence technologies.

“We are confident that the group of businesspeople that we have supported to participate in the multi-sectoral expo will not only find markets for their products through the business-to-business meetings, but they will also identify opportunities for joint trade and investment ventures,” Mashatile said.

South Africa’s participation, he said, is taking place on the back of three significant events, including the BRICS Summit hosted in Johannesburg in August.

BRICS is a bloc of emerging economies that includes Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

“At this summit, our two countries, together with the other founding BRICS partners, agreed to expand the membership for greater global influence and impact,” the Deputy President said.

The other events include the Procurement Mission led by the Chinese Minister of Commerce Wang Wentao, which resulted in purchase agreements for South African products of about US$2.2 billion, and the Bi-National Commission held this month, which was co-chaired by Mashatile and Vice President Han Zheng.

Source: South African Government News Agency

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