Minister Maite Nkoana Mashabane to participate in the 4th Forum on Africa – China Cooperation (FOCAC)

Pretoria- International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana Mashabane will on Saturday, 07th November 2009, depart for Sharm-El-Sheikh, Egypt, where she will participate in the 4th Forum on Africa - China Cooperation scheduled to take place on the 08 - 09 November 2009. Minister Maite Nkoana Mashabane will be accompanied by Government Ministers and Senior Government Officials.

      The visit comes within the context of strengthening South - South Cooperation, which provides the basis for mutual benefit and cooperation between Africa and China. Relations between Africa and China has dramatically improved,  especially within both the political and economic spheres, following the 1st FOCAC Ministerial meeting in 2000 held in Beijing and the 2nd FOCAC Ministerial meeting in 2003 held in Addis Ababa. The 4th FOCAC Ministerial meeting will be preceded by the 7th Senior Officials Meeting (SOM), which will be held on 6 November 2009, in order to finalise the Action Plan for the 4th FOCAC.

Key focus areas of the China- Africa relations

The central focus is on the economic development of both Africa and China and the key priority areas are:

  • Infrastructure Development in Africa: assisting in the development of transportation and telecommunication networks, water conservancy (dams) and power generation facilities.

  • Agriculture:  providing technical agricultural assistance, machinery and agricultural infrastructure support.
  • Natural Resources and Energy exploration and extraction: joint exploration and rational exploitation of energy and other resources through diversified forms of cooperation for the mutual benefit of Africa and China. Protecting the local environment and promoting sustainable social and economic development in the local areas is also emphasised.
  • Investment and Business Cooperation: establishment of the China-Africa Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry, promotion of Africa's industrial development and enhancing Africa's production and export capacity, through the establishment of 3-5 Special Economic Zones by 2009.
  • Trade: removal of barriers to trade and investment (administrative, customs, quarantine, etc.), and the establishment of trade dispute mechanisms, through friendly multilateral engagements.

  • Finance: Encouraging closer Chinese collaboration with the African Development Bank and regional development banks, as well as encouraging Chinese commercial banks to establish their presence in most African countries.

  • Transport: improve air and shipping links between the China and Africa to enhance cooperation with each other.
  • Science, Technology and Information Communication Technology: provide training courses of practical technologies and technical assistance for extending China's

Bilateral relations

China has played an important role in Africa’s renewal for instance its significant role in peacekeeping in Africa. A major strength of Chinese aid is its orientation to recipient priorities such as infrastructure (telecommunications, energy, roads) and productive sector investments (agriculture). Furthermore, Chinese assistance is considered to be relatively predictable assistance because it is disbursed on schedule within the intended financial year. China’s role in the SADC region is highly visible through its active support and growing impact on countries such as Angola, with increased support of government initiatives.  A number of countries have benefited from infrastructure development projects.

Development Cooperation between South Africa and China is currently regulated by two Agreements, namely an agreement on Human Resource Development that was signed in 2004 and a February 2007 Agreement on Technical and Economic Cooperation.

Upon conclusion Minister Maite Nkoana Mashabane will return to South Africa on 10 November 2009

For further information please contact Nomfanelo Kota on 082 459 3787

Issued by Department of International Relations and Cooperation
Private Bag x152
Pretoria
0001

06 November 2009

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