Media Release

Deputy President Motlanthe to lead SA delegation visiting the People’s Republic of China

23 October 2013

The Deputy President of the Republic of South Africa, His Excellency Kalema Motlanthe, will lead a South African delegation to Beijing to attend the 5th Bi-National Commission (BNC) between South Africa and the People’s Republic of China scheduled for 28 – 29 October 2013.

Since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1998, the relationship between South Africa and China has been growing strong: from a Partnership in 2000 leading to the establishment of the Bi-National Commission in 2001, to a Strategic Partnership in 2008 and to a Comprehensive Partnership in 2010 with the signing of the Beijing Declaration.

The 5th BNC will take place within the context of the Beijing Declaration on the Establishment of a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. The 5th BNC will be co-chaired by Deputy President Motlanthe and the Chinese Vice President, Mr Li Yuanchao.

The BNC is comprises of Sectoral Committees on: Foreign Affairs, Economic and Trade, Science and Technology, Education, Energy and Minerals, and will review progress made on the implementation of previous BNC decisions, address challenges and deepen and expand cooperation under the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.

South Africa and China have extensive trade and economic relations.  China is South Africa’s largest trading partner and a major investor in key sectors such as mining and financial services.  Total trade figure currently stands at R202 billion.  Both governments are committed to work together to raise the volumes of trade and investment between the two countries.

In advancing South-South Cooperation, South Africa participates in various multilateral forums with China, including the G20 and G77+China, BRICS, FOCAC, BASIC, etc. Africa’s relations with China are conducted within the framework of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC). South Africa and China are working together to address development challenges and strengthen China-Africa relations.  An important milestone in Sino-South Africa relations was last year when South Africa assumed the Co-Chairship of FOCAC for the next six years, and will host the next FOCAC Ministerial Meeting in 2015.  During its tenure South Africa will continue to ensure the advancing of South-South cooperation and that special attention is given to the implementation of the African Agenda.

Deputy President Motlanthe will be accompanied by the Minister of Mineral Resources, Ms Susan Shabangu; Minister of Public Service and Administration, Ms Lindiwe Sisulu; Minister of Tourism, Mr Marthinus van Schalkwyk; Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Mr Ebrahim I Ebrahim; Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Ms Thandi Tobias-Pokolo; Deputy Minister of Energy, Ms Barbara Thompson; and the Deputy Minister of Public Enterprises, Mr Bulelani Magwanishe.

Upon conclusion of his visit to the People’s Republic of China, Deputy President Motlanthe will proceed to Mongolia for an official visit. The objective of the visit will be to strengthen and deepen bilateral, political, social and economic cooperation between South Africa and Mongolia.

For further information, please contact Mr Clayson Monyela, Spokesperson for DIRCO, on 082 884 5974

ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION

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