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South Africa and China to Promote Partnership

South Africa and China has a long and deep historical relationship that continues to flourish at a political, economic, education and cultural level. South Africa and China to Promote Partnership.

Speaking notes by Minister Radebe on the South Africa-China partnership," I wish to extend a warm welcome to the colleagues from the National Development and Reform Commission."

Our relationship is framed through a number of agreements, key amongst them being the Five to Ten Year Strategic Programme for Co-operation between the Republic of South Africa and The Peoples Republic of China 2015 -2024, concluded in 2014.

These agreements are being implemented through the Bi-National Commission (BNC) that meets annually under which trade, development and other sectoral cooperation focus areas are discussed and implemented. This includes, the green economy; agro-processing and beneficiation; skills development and industrial financing; exploring co-operation between Chinese and South African companies in opportunities related to infrastructure construction projects, such as roads, railways, ports, power generation, airports and housing; the development of the SA Aquaculture sector; promoting co-operation and exchanges in science and technology fields closely related to the economic and social development of both countries; continued work on promoting co-operation in the fields of geology and mineral resources; as well as in tourism training, capacity building, promoting and developing cultural and medical tourism.

In the area of trade we are working towards the promotion of competitive products in order to expand trade volumes, improve trade structure and promote balanced and sustainable development of bilateral trade and strive to double the bilateral trade volumes on the current basis, including 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, 4bn compared to the total value of SA exports into China of R94, 4bn resulting in a trade deficit of R105bn in 2015. If we look across different sectors, particularly agriculture and manufacturing. South Africa's agricultural exports amounted to R1, 1bn compared to agricultural imports from China amounting to R1, 7bn in 2015. For the manufacturing sector we were only able to export R33,5bn in contrast to a massive import value of R195bn in manufactured goods from China in 2015. The trade balance for our mining sector remains positive despite declining global demand for commodity products.

At the level of investment both countries have committed to increase direct investment in the areas of agriculture, fishery, energy, mining and particularly minerals beneficiation, manufacturing, infrastructure building including water conservation, electricity, roads, telecommunications, railways, ports, airports, finance and tourism.

More specifically we want to encourage the support of investment and cooperation:

In the exports of value add white goods into SADC and the rest of the region;

 Fuel Cell technology for small scale power generation;

In the area of broadband services to increase access;

In agriculture, particularly fisheries, aquaculture, aquatic product processing, crop and animal production;

Human Resource Development;

In the area of energy that includes nuclear, renewables and bio-fuels;

Facilitation of personnel exchanges in the area of Civil Aviation and Conservation of Environment and Wildlife.

Achieving all of the above will contribute to our own national imperatives which is embedded in our National Development Plan (NDP). Indeed our own endeavors around national planning have been drawn from your experiences. We look forward to build on this and continue to share from each other's experiences.

This spirit of co-operation expresses itself in our co-operation at a multilateral and regional level through amongst others, the Forum for Chinese and African Co-operation (FOCAC) and BRICS. In this regard, our respective Heads of States recognized, at the recently concluded Eight BRICS Summit in Goa, held on 15-16 October 2016, that our respective economic growth prospects and the increased momentum of the BRICS formation will continue to be a critical engine for our own growth and development objectives.

We therefore must ensure that we find and build on the key identified priorities to further strengthen our strategic partnership in the spirit of openness, solidarity, equality, mutual understanding, inclusiveness and mutually beneficial cooperation.

Inclusive and interconnected development, industrialisation' infrastructure roll out' increased intra Africa trade and curbing illicit financial flows remain crucial goals for the development of the African continent, as stipulated in Agenda 2063. In this way we are also partners in advancing Africa's agenda 2063.

Both at a national and continental level, infrastructure remains a critical priority focus. Reliable, efficient infrastructure is crucial to economic and social development that promotes inclusive growth.

To encourage growth and investment, the South African government has established Invest SA, a one stop shop investment centre, which is coordinated by an Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) and chaired by His Excellency, President Jacob Zuma.

Invest SA has identified a number of high impact priority projects in the water, energy, ports and rail and manufacturing which we will present to you today.

As South Africa we remain steadfast, deeply committed and involved in Africa. In the Presidential Infrastructure Championing Initiative (PICI), we emphasise the importance of the infrastructure investment, which aims to ensure economic efficiency in view of life-cycle costs, job creation, capacity building, and transfer of expertise and know-how on mutually agreed terms and conditions, while also addressing the social and environmental impacts and aligning with economic and development strategies.

The PICI is led by His Excellency, President Jacob Zuma, who is the champion. The PICI country infrastructure projects have an updated North-South Corridor with 34 infrastructure projects identified. These are mostly in the SADC region. The progress was again endorsed and duly celebrated at the AU Summit at Heads of state level in January 2016 and in July 2016 (The 2 AU Summits).

The four key PICI projects identified for fast-tracking in the first wave are:

The Grand Inga Hydro Project;

The Lesotho Highlands Water Project-Phase 2;

The Beitbridge Border Posts and linked roads; and

The AU Rail Stock decision for South Africa to become the de facto manufacturing hub for rail stock for the continent.

The partnership between South Africa and China remains a vital cog in our effort to give effect to our imperatives as articulated in our South Africa's National Development Plan as well as promoting mutually beneficial co-operation

Issued by: Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation

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