South African companies set out to China to showcase products, deepen trade relations
A group of South African companies will showcase their products in China when they participate in the second China International Import Expo (CIIE) that will take place in Shanghai from 5-10 November 2019.
The group’s participation is organised and funded by the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) through its Export Marketing and Investment Assistance (EMIA) Scheme. The objective of the scheme is to develop export markets for South African products and services, and to recruit new foreign direct investment into the country.
The CIIE is part of the Chinese government’s initiatives to support trade liberalisation and economic globalisation by actively opening the country’s huge market to the world. The CIIE is an open international cooperation platform provided by China for countries to showcase their products. It is also an international public platform provided by the Chinese government for all the countries in the world to discuss major issues of foreign trade, world economy and global economic governance.
According to the Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Ms Nomalungelo Gina, China is expecting to import products and services valued at more than US$10 trillion and this will provide a massive opportunity for enterprises across the world to enter the huge Chinese market.
"Our continuous participation in the CIIE will contribute significantly in helping us to increase the export of value-added products to China. Since 2009, China has been South Africa’s number one trading partner globally as well as in the Asian region. Total trade between South Africa and China grew from R271 billion in 2013 to R332 billion by the end of 2018. However, 86% of our exports basket to China is concentrated on primary products. There are concerted measures underway to promote value-added goods and services by broadening the export base and increasing South Africa’s market share in China," says Gina.
South Africa was among the twelve countries which were invited as guest countries of honour in the inaugural CIIE which was successfully held in Shanghai in November last year. More than 172 countries, districts and international organisations participated in the event. Products and services from more than 3 600 enterprises and companies were exhibited.
SA’s participation in the first CIIE also formed part of the South Africa-China 20-Year Celebration of Diplomatic Relations. South Africa had the biggest representation of all countries from Africa and had the largest footprint at the event.
Gina adds that South Africa’s participation will also contribute in strengthening both political and economic bilateral relations between South Africa and China. It is also expected to increase trade between the two countries in general, and South African exports of value-add products in particular.
"As a fellow member of the Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) grouping, participating in exhibitions like these will boost intra-BRICS trade and investment," says Gina.