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South Africa to balance import-export relations with China

SOUTH AFRICA / CHINA (BRICS TV) – The BRICS bloc is in the global spotlight ahead of the 15th summit which will be held at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg from Tuesday to Thursday this week. South Africa and China, are both members of the emerging economy bloc BRICS, which includes Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

The theme of the meeting is “BRICS and Africa: Partnership for Mutually Accelerated Growth, Sustainable Development, and Inclusive Multilateralism“.

On Tuesday, 22 August, president Cyril Ramaphosa will receive Chinese President Xi Jinping on a state visit, as reported by Pretoria News, a partner of TV BRICS.

Mtho Xulu, president of the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said South Africa benefits greatly from its relationship with Beijing.

“What China has been able to do is to create an industry that turns raw materials into value-added goods. This is something we can learn from them. If our competitive advantage is mineral deposits, we need to invest in those deposits and make sure we build industry around them. If we can’t create value-added goods yet, let’s better create other extractive industries. We need to look at what specific benefits we can derive from these minerals and I believe we need to create value chains based on the strategic mineral resources that we have,” he said.

Xulu confirmed that it is very beneficial for South Africa to continue to develop trade ties and friendship with China as the Asian giant continues to grow steadily.

“China is undoubtedly the largest member of the BRICS bloc and it will continue to become a very large economy in the world. Most of our exports to China are mineral-related, but we have not seen the growth of the exploration fund, which is looking to build more mines and create value chains and industries in South Africa. As China seeks to import more of our raw materials, we need to decide on the right way to invest in South Africa to expand our opportunities,” emphasised Xulu.

He said that as South Africa exports more and more minerals to the giant Chinese economy, a market of over 1.4 billion people, Pretoria should focus on creating value chains that stimulate the local economy and create needed jobs.

Last week it was reported that trade, industry and competition minister Ebrahim Patel concluded talks by signing several business deals with a Chinese delegation led to South Africa by Chinese Commerce Minister Wang Wentao.

Patel said the visit of the Chinese delegation has led to significant results in trade, investment between the two countries.

The head of South Africa’s Department of Commerce, who was supported by South African Ambassador to China Siyabonga Cwele, made the statement at Sandton, Johannesburg, after meetings last Wednesday and Thursday with Wang, who was supported by Chinese ambassador to South Africa Chen Xiaodong.

The event was attended by representatives of major Chinese businesses.

The talks took place during an official meeting of the Joint Economic and Trade Committee (JETC) between the two partner countries and centred on expanding trade and changing its structure to ensure that South Africa exports more value-added manufactured goods to China, not just raw materials.

The relationship between China and South Africa within the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) framework epitomises an important component of cooperation between the two countries and other members of the group. Their relations represent an important component of the multifaceted cooperation between the countries, aimed at strengthening economic, political and cultural ties for the benefit of both peoples and the global community.



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