WATCH: David Mabuza tasked with strengthening, maintaining SA-China ties
CAPE TOWN – Deputy President David Mabuza on Monday lauded China as "a central partner and a fraternal friend" that continues to support the development agenda of South Africa and the African continent.
"Therefore, these economic and trade relations between South Africa and China signifies an ever growing partnership," Mabuza said before co-chairing the 7th Session of the South Africa-China Bi-National Commission. The commission meeting is scheduled to take place from October 31 to November 3 in both Beijing and Shanghai.
The commission was established in 2002 to serve as a strategic platform to address issues of common interest such as trade promotions and economic exchanges.
Mabuza's visit to China takes place in the context of strengthening the South-South cooperation and consolidating the already existing bilateral political and economic relations between South Africa and China, his spokesperson Sam Bopape said.
In its agenda of promoting a better Africa and a better world, South Africa and China are working closely in promoting mutually beneficial relations at both continental and global stage, Bopape said.
Driven by this important bilateral diplomatic mechanism, several sectoral committees such as economic and trade, minerals, energy, foreign affairs, science and technology were formed to cement relations between the two countries, said Bopape.
The strategic diplomatic relations between the two countries have resulted in the adoption of the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership Agreement that was signed in 2010. The agreement prioritized improving the structure of trade between the two countries by working towards a more balanced trade profile and encouraging trade in value-added manufactured products, Bopape said.
This would be achieved through Chinese enterprises investing in South Africa's manufacturing industry, as well as actively promoting the sourcing of value-added products by China from South African suppliers, said Bopape.
Currently, South Africa has around 26 companies that are investing in China with a capital expenditure of 88 billion rand (about six billion U.S. dollars) between January 2003 and August 2019, while China has a total of 88 companies that are investing in South Africa with a capital expenditure of 116 billion rand over the same period, according to figures provided by the Presidency.