South Africa has signed several strategic agreements with the government of the People’s Republic of China which aim to strengthen bilateral relations, trade cooperation and create sustainable investment opportunities between the two countries.
The agreements were signed at the historic State Visit by His Excellency President Jacob Zuma to China where he held official talks with his counterpart, His Excellency President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China.
The following agreements were signed:
• A 5-10 Year Strategic Programme on Cooperation between the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of South Africa: this agreement focuses on various bilateral cooperation including, amongst others, Political Mutual Trust and Strategic Coordination; Mutual Beneficial Economic Cooperation and Trade; People-to-People Exchanges and Cooperation; African Affairs and China-Africa Relations as well as Cooperation in International Affairs and BRICS related issues.
• Agreed Minutes on further improving bilateral cooperation in trade and investment between the Ministry of Trade and Industry of the Republic of South Africa and the Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China. This is intended to redress the structural imbalance in our bilateral trade.
• 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.
The signing of the agriculture related agreements was affirmation that both countries stand ready to strengthen personnel and technology exchanges as well as promote agricultural capacity building through exchanging delegations. The agreement further promotes hosting technology and management workshops, and strengthening cooperation between research institutes, universities and colleges of the two countries.
President Zuma said the agreements, affirm the Beijing Declaration on the Establishment of a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership which was signed in 2010, and will further enhance the strategic relations that the two countries enjoy.
“We will also look at ways of enhancing cooperation in various sectors such as finance, the environment including cooperation in Ocean Economy, trade and investment as well as transport and agriculture,” the President said.
President Zuma also said South Africa was looking forward to the conclusion of the 5 to 10 Year Framework on Cooperation during this visit, which will further enhance the implementation of the outcomes of the Bi-National Commission and the Inter-Ministerial Joint Working group.
“We need to improve cooperation in the financial sector, allowing easier access to each other’s financial markets,” the President said.