South African Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr. Rob Davies, leads a delegation representing 62 South African companies to attend the 17th China International Fair for Investment and Trade (CIFIT) taking place in Xiamen, Fujian Province, from September 8 to 10, 2013.
The CIFIT will be followed by the 2013 South African Expos in China, an annual event aimed at promoting South Africa’s top 10 value-added products and investment projects in China. The expos will take place September 11 to 13, 2013 in Shanghai and Beijing. Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry Elizabeth Thabethe will lead the South African delegation to the expos.
Minister Davies said that South Africa has been granted the status of the Country of Honor at the CIFIT this year, as part of the celebrations of 15 years of China–South Africa diplomatic relations.
Fifteen sectors from South Africa will take part in this year’s South Africa-China Expos. The 15 sectors are agro-processing, chemicals, plastics, steel, aluminium, automotive, capital equipment and allied services, electro-technical, mining and beneficiation, renewable energy, infrastructure, oil and gas, information communication technology (ICT) and transport.
“The South African companies will get an opportunity to showcase their products at the trade fair,” said Davies. “In addition, Chinese and South African companies will be encouraged to explore cooperation opportunities in infrastructure projects such as roads, railways, ports, power generation, airports and housing through a series of business to business meetings and investment seminars.”
According to Davies, South Africa’s exports to China reached an all-time high in 2011, valued at $8.5 billion, representing a 45-percent increase over the previous year. In 2012 it declined slightly by 5 percent, due to global dampening of demand and a slowdown of China’s growth rate.
Although China is South Africa’s major trading partner, the majority of trade still resides in the commodities sector, which does not reflect well on the manufacturing sector, said Davies. To address this, he said South Africa has prioritized top 10 value-added products for exporting to China.