Minister of Trade and Industry Rob Davies

JOHANNESBURG - The minister of trade and industry, Rob Davies, said on Friday that China has agreed to support South Africa and Africa's initiatives of industrialisation and mineral beneficiation as the country embarks on a drive to better exploit its mineral resources.

Davies said in a statement that that South Africa has set out to achieve this by developing its manufacturing industry, and that China will have a significant role to play in this initiative.

"Following undertakings of the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership Agreement (CSPA) signed between South Africa and China, and also the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), China agreed to support South Africa and Africa’s initiatives of industrialisation and mineral beneficiation," Davies said.

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"The long-term view is that South Africa’s mineral endowment could catalyse wider economic development. By this we mean that South Africa is intent on doing much more to develop its manufacturing industry, based on its considerable mineral resources." This comes as the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) will lead a group of South African companies to the 17th Annual China Mining Congress and Expo in China from next weekend.

Davies said that the dti was affording South Africa companies an opportunity to network with the world's key policy makers and government officials, to gain insightful market information, to meet with potential partners and to generate business opportunities all in one place. The Expo is one of the world's largest mineral investment, cooperation and trading platforms that covers the whole value-chain. 

This includes mining services, geological surveying, exploration development, mining rights and minerals trading, mining investment and financing, smelting and processing, technique and equipment. Davies said South Africa's participation in the Expo was a result of South Africa and China having developed strong bilateral relations during the past decade, sparked primarily by the establishment of the BRICS Bloc.