Pretoria: Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies will today lead 68 companies to the South African Expos in China which seeks to expand the basket of export products to the Asian nation.
The Expos is an initiative that seeks to expand the basket of export products into China, and change the current structure of trade to comprise more value-added products over the long term.
Taking place in Beijing and Shanghai from next Monday to Friday, the Expos programme comprises exhibitions, an investment seminar and business-to-business meetings. The seminar will focus on beneficiation, renewable energy and manufacturing. Projects from various provinces will be showcased at the seminar.
Davies says the Expos, which was hosted in Beijing and Shanghai in 2011, was an initiative that was intended to facilitate the shift from commodity exports to value-added, as well as to mobilise interest in infrastructure related investment.
“South Africa and China signed the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership Agreement (CSPA) in August 2010, prioritising the improvement of the structure of trade between the two countries, in particular by working towards a more balanced trade profile and encouraging trade in manufactured value-added products,” said Davies.
China was also committed to encourage its enterprises to increase investment in South Africa’s manufacturing industry and promote the creation of value-adding activities in close proximity to the source of raw materials.
Last year’s South African Expos generated export sales of value-added products worth R8 million and estimated future export sales over the medium term of about R400 million.
South Africa’s exports to China reached an all-time high in 2011, valued at R85 billion, displaying a 45% increase in exports from 2010.
South Africa has chosen export sector products and investment projects that they will table in the engagement with China, including agro processing, oil and gas, renewable energy, infrastructure, automotive, information technology and mining.
“A Memorandum of Understanding between the Department of Trade and Industry and the International Brand Management Centre, pertaining to the promotion of South African products in China, will be concluded during the visit.
“It is envisaged that this particular initiative will substantially enhance the trade relationship between China and South Africa,” said the dti.
Prior to the visit to China, Davies was in Indonesia to co-chair the second session of the SA-Indonesia Joint Trade Committee (JTC). The JTC is a bilateral mechanism for discussing various ways of promoting, expanding and deepening trade and investment between the two countries.