South Africa’s Pavilion at Shanghai Expo is Officially Opened by the South African Minister for International Relations and Cooperation

Shanghai, China – 7 May, 2010: South African International Relations and Cooperation Minister Ms. Maite Nkoana-Mashabane last night formally opened South Africa’s Pavilion at Shanghai Expo 2010. Representing the government of the People’s Republic of China were Commissioner of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee, His Excellency Mr Li Zhaoxing, and the Shanghai Municipal Government’s Deputy Director, Madame Wu Youying. The ceremony was attended by various Shanghai dignitaries and officials from a variety of sectors reflecting the country’s diverse relations with China. Seen as the biggest demonstration to date of South Africa’s vision of China as a strategic partner, Minister Nkoana-Mashabane’s visit is the first of a series of high level visits expected during the six-month long Shanghai Expo. 

The minister was flanked by the Deputy Director-General for Middle East & Asia Ambassador Sisa Ngombane, South African Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to China His Excellency Mr N N Ntshinga and South African Consul-General to Shanghai HE Mr. Vika Khumalo.

Also present among dignitaries were the premier of the Free State, Mr Ace Magashule, who was accompanied by three members of his executive council.

Visiting Shanghai Expo, Minister Nkoana-Mashabane commented “We are very proud to be opening South Africa’s Pavilion at Shanghai Expo because it truly showcases the vibrancy of South African cities, our urban culture and how far we have progressed since the birth of the New Democratic South Africa. Shanghai Expo’s theme of “Better City, Better Life” resonates deeply with our people, and our Pavilion will showcase our stories and commitment to improving urban living through innovative solutions. With the theme of “It’s Time! Ke nako!” We invite you on a journey to learn more about the offerings of modern South Africa as a strategic partner with China.”

Trade is not the only sector South Africa hopes to highlight during Shanghai Expo.  Continuing to attract direct investment from China and other countries is also important. During July and August, the South Africa Pavilion will focus on profiling its modern economy by introducing some of South Africa’s pillar industries including agro-processing, beneficiated metals and mining technology, defence technology, ICT, as well as bio-fuels and alternative energy. For Chinese companies, South Africa offers a stable political and economic environment in which to invest and build a business on the African continent.

Meanwhile, with other themes including FIFA 2010; remodeling of urban communities; tourism and heritage; and environment and climate change; a visit to the South Africa Pavilion will leave visitors with an understanding of a diverse nation unified by a collective spirit.  With a design inspired by a traditional Southern African Rondavel round house, interpreted in a modern way fusing traditional designs with modern materials, the Pavilion will invite visitors on a journey which is truly South African with experiences ranging from traditional artifacts, to world-class wines and modern urban living solutions.

For more information contact Chief Director for Public Diplomacy, Mr Saul Molobi on 082 940 1647 or email him at molobisk@dirco.gov.za.

Issued by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation
Private Bag X152
Pretoria, 0001

7 May 2010


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