Media Statement by International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane on President Zuma's recent State Visit to the People's Republic of China, OR Tambo Building, Pretoria, 09 December 2014
Good morning ladies and gentlemen of the media,
We invited you this morning to share with you the outcomes of the State Visit to the People's Republic of China undertaken by our President, His Excellency Mr Jacob Zuma. Present Zuma was accompanied on the visit by a high level-delegation that included members of Cabinet and business.
We indicated prior to this visit that South Africa and China share a sound political relationship which can be used to lay the basis for achieving South Africa’s economic objectives. We also indicated that the relationship between South Africa and China has seen phenomenal growth since the establishment in 1998 of formal diplomatic relations between the two countries. In the words of HE President Xi JinPing "South Africa‘s relationship with the People’s Republic of China at present are at its historical best".
During the State Visit, Our two governments adopted the China-South Africa Five-to-Ten Year Framework on Cooperation with the objective of furthering and entrenching the implementation of agreements since the conclusion of the Beijing Declaration in 2010.
Other agreements signed during the Visit are the following:
- Agreed Minutes on further improving Economic Cooperation in Trade and Investment
- Action Plan on Agriculture Cooperation between Republic of South Africa and the People’s Republic of China (2014-2016).
- Protocol of Phytosanitory Requirements for the export of maize from the Republic of South Africa to the People’s Republic of China.
- Protocol of Phytosanitory Requirements for the export of Apple Fruit from the Republic of South Africa to the People’s Republic of China.
- Protocol of Phytosanitory Requirements for the export of Dates from the People’s Republic of China to the Republic of South Africa.
In terms of these protocols or agreements, China has agreed to expedite market access negotiations for the export of South African fresh produce to China, for example maize and apple fruit.
The two governments also concluded Agreements/MoUs on collaboration in human resource and capacity development; soliciting support for South Africa’s industrial planning, to improve the beneficiation and value addition with respect to raw materials.
China has agreed to increase short-term skills development programmes, so as to reduce the skills gap that we are experiencing in South Africa. China will gradually increase the training opportunities for South Africa and will provide training for 2000 South Africans from the year 2015 through to 2020. China committed to support South Africa’s industrialisation agenda by agreeing to assist in the development of a Science and Technology and Industrial Parks, as well as in key areas such as the Ocean Economy namely:
- As part of the industrialisation process China agreed to South Africa’s request to assist in the creation of black industrialists who will participate in the mainstream of the economy.
- In addition, Chinese companies would be encouraged to invest in Economic Zones, Industrial Parks and Science and Technology parks.
The Chinese Government is ready to consider favourable lending rates with regard to the financing of specific projects.
China has committed to support the establishment of Railway Parks in South Africa which is linked to the localisation of railway carriage manufacturing processes, to facilitate inward buying Missions into South Africa starting early in 2015 - favouring sector specific value added products, and to share expertise in integrated planning inclusive of the establishment of visual modelling centres in South Africa. The two countries discussed ways to support tourism promotion activities conducted by South Africa and the People’s Republic of China in order to increase investment in the tourism industry, as well as to facilitate a further increase in tourism.
The Presidents discussed the high-level FOCAC meeting which will be hosted in South Africa and co-chaired by both countries in 2015. FOCAC is an important engine of growth and development on the African continent. The two delegations discussed the creation of the African Regional Centre of the BRICS New Development Bank in South Africa in tandem with the Headquarters in Shanghai.
We would like to conclude by also indicating that during the State Visit, President Zuma attended the closing ceremony for the Year of South Africa 2014 in China. The Year of South Africa 2014 in China provided a unique opportunity to showcase South Africa’s economic, political and cultural achievements. It also gave a higher profile to exploring business and development opportunities.
South Africa will host the 2015 Year of China in South Africa. The South Africa-China Business Forum was hosted on 5 December 2014 and was attended by approximately 600 businesspersons.
The Tsinghua University awarded President Zuma an Honorary Professorship during the State Visit to China.
ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION
OR Tambo Building
460 Soutpansberg Road