BEIJING– South Africa and China have signed a number of co-operation agreements which will stimulate economic growth and create educational opportunities, the Presidency said here Monday.

One agreement signed during the State visit by President Cyril Ramaphosa, on investment and trade promotion between the two countries, carries a monetary value of approximately 14 billion Rand (about 940 million US dollars).

The State visit took place on Sunday at the invitation of President Xi Jinping. ahead of the two-day 2018 Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) which began Monday.

The two Presidents witnessed the signing of various Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) and agreements at a ceremony held at the Great Hall of the People here Sunday.

“The agreements signed include commitments on co-operation in the fields of climate change, water resources, transported related infrastructure and refurbishments to a number of technical and vocational training (TVET) colleges,” the Presidency said.

The Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) exchanged letters of commitment with the Chinese Embassy on the upgrading and refurbishment of two technical and vocational colleges.

An MoU between the Department of Trade and Industry and China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) will cover co-operation on international investment promotion for South Africa’s Special Economic Zones (SEZ) and industrial parks.

Projects within the Musina-Makhado SEZ, including a 4,600-megawatt coal-fired power plant, a cement plant and other metallurgical projects, have been prioritised for implementation.

The two Presidents also witnessed the signing of a cooperation agreement between the Department of Trade and Industry and the Bank of China on promoting trade and investment relations. This will include capacity and institution building and investment facilitation.

Most of the agreements are aligned to the commitments made during the FOCAC Summit held in Johannesburg in December 2015.

President Ramaphosa said South Africa is willing to learn from China’s valuable experience in areas including ruling party building and corporate management, and will actively participate in the Belt and Road co-operation.

He called for concerted efforts in upholding the multilateralism and international trading regime and safeguarding the common interests of emerging markets and developing countries.

He urged South African companies to work in partnership, consolidate South African interests on the African continent and to collaborate with China on projects in line with South Africa’s development and integration objectives.


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