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Zuma’s visit to feature SA-China trade deals

Daily Monitor, Uganda

Zuma’s visit to feature SA-China trade deals

24 August 2010

South African President Jacob Zuma will lead a State visit to China this week in a bid to strengthen political, economic and trade relations with the world’s second-largest economy and South Africa’s largest trading partner. In 2009, China eclipsed the US as South Africa’s largest export destination, while South Africa imports more from China than any other country.

Total trade between the two countries stood at R119,7-billion in 2009, which is significant given that the two countries only established full diplomatic relations in 1998.China’s imports from South Africa are resources heavy, while it exports a wide range of manufactured goods, from electrical machinery and electronic equipment, to appliances, computers and printing equipment. During the visit, which begun yesterday and ends on August 26, Zuma and China’s Premier Wen Jiabao would also sign a ‘Comprehensive Strategic Partnership Agreement’, which is described as the first such agreement concluded by China with any other country.

Frontier Advisory CEO Dr Martyn Davies, who is also a China specialist, told Engineering News Online that the Zuma visit is part of the South African government’s political and economic strategy to align itself with the so-called “rising emerging markets”. In the last quarter alone, Zuma has had interactions with the Head of States of each one of the so-called Bric economies, comprising Brazil, Russia, India, and China. Mr Davies, who will participate in the visit, said that the partnership agreement could also be seen as part of efforts to foster mutually supportive positions for Africa and China in the evolving emerging-market arena.