Twenty years on, China-SA relations embrace a new chapter
During this visit, South Africa and China signed 23 agreements valued at high level political exchanges and advancing trade and investment. Trade between South Africa and China must be "mutually Politics Paul Mashatile says the trade relations between China and South Africa. Reinforcing this relationship was Beijing's support for South Africa's an economic grouping to include social, diplomatic and political issues.
Our bilateral relations are central to realising our socio-economic development agenda through our foreign policy as we increase our efforts to implement the National Development Plan, cooperating in the areas of trade and investment, agriculture, environment and skills development.
During the past 20 years, South Africa and China also cooperated closely at international organizations and strongly supported each other in numerous global affairs. The friendship and mutual trust have been further deepened and strengthened.
We value our membership of BRICS since it enables us to promote economic development through enhanced trade and investment, expand sectors in which our country holds a comparative advantage and even provide overseas investment opportunities for South African enterprises.
BRICS also provides us an opportunity to influence policymaking and alignment among developing countries to make the international economic system more inclusive while strengthening the global order and upholding the principle of multilateralism and the centrality of the United Nations.
The diversity in BRICS in terms of political systems, societies and cultures makes it well-suited to foster new ways of engaging in international affairs. As the incoming chair, we will strive for a seamless transition between our successive chairpersonships, for all partners and to build on the work of China and indeed of all our BRICS partners before.
We fully intend to continue amplifying the various productive initiatives that were undertaken this year.
Launched in October in Beijing as a tri-annual collective dialogue platform for cooperation between China and Africa, FOCAC is based on the principles of South-South cooperation and mutual and equal benefit.
Its primary aim is to contribute to the realisation of Africa's socio-economic development and integration through all aspects. It is aimed at strengthening the equal and harmonious partnership grounded in the pursuit of economic development and catalysing Africa's industrial revolution.
Win-Win Cooperation for Common Development.
China-South Africa ties at 20 years: 3 key features
It was the first FOCAC summit on African soil and led to major breakthroughs as we accelerate our efforts to bring meaning to Africa-China solidarity, through concrete business and commercial ventures. The opportunities for achieving tangible results within FOCAC are plenty, in particular as South Africa is positioned to improve its infrastructure, increase intra-trade and firmly become part of the emerging global drive toward sustainable development.
The MoU encourages Chinese and South African companies, through various business links, to explore cooperation in infrastructure projects such as roads, railways, ports, power generation, airports and human settlements. The BRI dovetails with South Africa's Operation Phakisa, an initiative aimed at "unlocking the potential of South Africa's ocean economy" which was initiated in March as a government programme to fast-track initiatives within the oceans.
South Africa's participation in the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank will strengthen its growing business relationships with the region and will also demonstrate solidarity with the region's development aspirations.
This is in line with South Africa's own National Development Plan's vision of creating employment, growing the economy and promoting exports. South Africa has a strong focus on regional integration and the development of regional value chains. We also have a very strong environment sector supported by very experienced consulting engineers.
The BRI is, therefore, an opportunity for South African companies and their Chinese counterparts to forge partnerships on infrastructure projects related to the BRI, which will assist us to achieve our regional integration objectives. We are working closely with China on elaborating concrete plans to make our participation in the initiative meaningful. South Africa's participation in the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing on 14 to 15 May enabled us to gain deeper insights into how the initiative will unfold and thereby to prepare ourselves accordingly.
South Africa offered its full support for a successful outcome under the leadership of China. The African nation continued to play a critical role in the G20 as the only African member, and supported the interests of the African continent in respect of agenda setting and deliberations.
South Africa seeks to use its participation in the G20 to promote and strengthen the interests of Africa and of the Global South. On the margins of the G20, a bilateral meeting between Presidents Jacob Zuma and Xi Jinping focused on progress made toward implementation of joint projects, exchanging information and ideas on developments in Africa as well as exploring mechanisms of reaching consensus on the most pressing international issues.
During the G20 Summit, South Africa further welcomed the Chinese presidency's prioritisation of Africa by supporting industrialisation in Africa and low-income countries. As one of the co-chairs of the G20 Development Working Group, South Africa advanced issues that are key to fast-tracking the development of low-income countries, particularly those in Sub-Saharan Africa.
China-South Africa ties at 20 years: 3 key features
South Africa also worked to include the industrialisation priorities of the African Union's Agenda into the G20 outcomes documents. The G20 is the premier forum for coordination on international financial and economic matters.
South Africa will continue to work closely with China in order to better achieve the common goals. South Africa and China also have strong partnership within many other international organizations such as BASIC, the UN and WTO, all of which support growing trade and investment partnership, as well as act as platforms to highlight issues affecting developing countries. Since establishing diplomatic ties, our economic relations have grown to a point where China is South Africa's No.
Trade relations between South Africa and China have remained buoyant despite the global economic slowdown. According to the South African Revenue Service, the volume of bilateral trade stood at R billion in South African exports to China totalled R Inour government introduced the National Development Plan, which aims to transform the economy by putting the country on a new growth trajectory.Political Economy Review: South Africa-China Relations
All these are providing new opportunities for the two countries to further boost their relations. Twenty Years of Evolvement After they established diplomatic relations, China and South Africa formed a partnership and set up a bi-national commission in The two sides later upgraded their relations to a strategic partnership inaiming for common development based on equality and mutual benefit.
South Africa's trade with China rockets
In Augustduring the state visit of then South African President Jacob Zuma, heads of state of China and South Africa signed the declaration on establishing a comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries, thus lifting their bilateral relations to a new level. Ambassador Msimang attributed the constant upgrading of bilateral relations to the increasing political trust between the two countries and their ever increasing and closer economic exchanges.
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It came about because of the depth of our relationship. Our political relations have become stronger and stronger, and our economic relationship has grown stronger too. This strategic partnership came up with things that have allowed us to achieve more than we ever could have before. On the first day ofPresident Xi exchanged congratulatory messages with then President Zuma to mark the 20th anniversary of the establishment of bilateral diplomatic ties.
When talking about the anniversary at a celebration event in January in Beijing, Ambassador Msimang said: Although it has only been 20 years, we have achieved a lot. We started our relationship when my country faced development difficulties. The Chinese people helped us overcome those difficulties. China exports electric products, textile products, and metal wares to South Africa, and mainly imports mineral products.
Meanwhile, the two countries have seen their two-way investment consistently increase. We intend to push forward China-South Africa cooperation in the ocean economy field under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative. During their talk, President Xi and President Zuma reached the consensus that the ocean economy, production capacity, energy, trade, and investment would be the priorities of cooperation in the future.