China would invest 14.7 billion dollars in South Africa President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Tuesday after talks between the two countries, news that sent the rand one percent firmer.
Speaking at the same event, Chinese President Xi Jinping said the world’s second-biggest economy would take active measures to expand imports from South Africa to support development in Africa’s most industrialised economy.
Xi arrived South Africa on Monday night for a State visit ahead of the much anticipated 10th BRICS Summit in Sandton.
This is Xi’s third visit to South Africa, having visited the country for the 2013 BRICS Summit, and the 2015 Forum on China-Africa Co-operation. Xi made State visits to Senegal and Rwanda before arriving in South Africa.
The two presidents engaged in bilateral talks and evaluated progress achieved by the two countries on the Strategic Programme with specific reference to the six priority areas identified in 2015.
Those areas include the Alignment of industries to accelerate South Africa’s industrialisation process; Enhancement of co-operation in Special Economic Zones; Enhancement of marine co-operation; Infrastructure development; Human resources co-operation; as well as Financial co-operation.
China has been South Africa’s largest trading partner for nine years in a row, and South Africa is China’s largest trading partner in Africa.
Two-way trade has reached a historic 39billion dollars, 20 times the volume of that at the onset of official diplomatic relations. Direct Chinese investment in the South African economy has also grown eight fold, reaching 10 billion dollars.
While there is a trade imbalance between China and South Africa, both countries have implemented mechanisms to address these discrepancies.