South Africa's Vice President Talks Trade in China

Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe is in China in a bid to strengthen political and economic relations with that country.

Today Motlanthe held a meeting with Party Secretary of Shanghai Municipality Committee of the Communist Party, Yu Zhengsheng. He was later hosted by Zhengsheng at a dinner.

During the official visit, Motlanthe is expected deliver a public lecture at the China Executive Leadership Academy.

He will also meet Vice President Xi Jinping to evaluate the implementation of the Beijing Declaration on the Establishment of a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. This was signed during President Jacob Zuma’s state visit to China in August 2010.

The agreement outlined South Africa and China’s commitment to encouraging trade in manufactured value-added products, encouraging business investment in South Africa’s manufacturing industry and promoting value-added activities in close proximity to the source of raw materials.

The countries also agreed to co-operate and provide mutual technical support in the green economy, develop skills, provide industrial financing and encourage companies from both countries to work together on infrastructure projects. These projects included roads, railways, ports, power generation, airports and housing.

On his last day, Friday, Motlanthe is to meet President of the People Republic of China Hu Jintao.

South Africa and China enjoy cordial bilateral political and economic relations. At the political level, SA regards China as a key player in the global debates that characterise the shift to multi-polarity.

China’s developing country status, its identification as a member of the Global South, BRICS and the G77 in the UN are elements that carry significance for South Africa.

For China, South Africa is a major player in Africa and thus an important partner in its broader African engagement strategy.

Trade exports from South Africa to China amount to over R39 billion; imports from China amount to over R43 billion, with a trade deficit of R3 billion in favour of China from January to June 2011.

Motlanthe is accompanied by the Ministers of Trade and Industry Rob Davies, Public Enterprises Malusi Gigaba, Energy Dipuo Peters, Mineral Resources Susan Shabangu, and Deputy Ministers of Finance Nhlanhla Nene and International Relations and Co-operation Ebrahim Ebrahim.