South Africa, China Sign Deals Ahead of BRICS Summit

Key Points:

  • The agreement aims to boost trade and investment between nations.
  • This comes before China’s President Xi visits South Africa this month.
  • The move will help maintain ties into broader BRICS goals of cooperation and global influence.
South Africa, China Sign Deals Ahead of BRICS Summit
South Africa, China Sign Deals Ahead of BRICS Summit

South Africa and China have signed new agreements to enhance trade, investment, and job creation between the two nations. The deals were struck during meetings between government ministers in Pretoria before this month’s BRICS summit.

According to South Africa’s Trade Minister Ebrahim Patel, the talks focused on increasing South African exports to China, raising Chinese investment in South African industries, and collaborating on manufacturing priorities like electric vehicles.

China Pledges Expanding Opportunities

China’s Minister of Commerce Wang Wentao led the Chinese delegation at the sessions and emphasized China’s high-quality development would provide expanded access and opportunities for South Africa and other global partners.

The meetings took place under the Joint Economic and Trade Committee framework between the countries. Strengthening economic ties aligns with broader BRICS goals of cooperation between members Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.

Preparing for President Xi’s Visit

The delegations specifically worked to prepare arrangements for Chinese President Xi Jinping’s upcoming state visit to South Africa on August 22nd. The South African government aims to use the high-profile trip to increase Chinese investment and trade.

Bilateral trade exceeds $90 billion annually, with Chinese investment in South Africa totaling nearly $20 billion. The two countries have steadily deepened economic and political ties since 1994.

But South Africa now prioritizes exporting more value-added manufactured goods to China than raw materials. Policymakers also want Chinese investment in industries aligned with South Africa’s development goals.

The commitments reflect South Africa’s multipronged strategy of leveraging its membership in BRICS to achieve national objectives. With China playing a key financing and construction role in massive African infrastructure projects, South Africa is also cementing its position as a gateway to the continent.

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Raymond Munene