South African Companies Push for Improved Trade with China at the China International Import Expo

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With the support of the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti), a group of South African companies will be showcasing their products at the second China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai, a report by Ventures Africa has revealed.

The exhibition which will take place from the 5th-10th of November 2019 is part of the Chinese government’s initiative to provide an international public platform for countries to showcase their products.

The CIIE is also a platform for countries to discuss major issues surrounding foreign trade, the world economy, and global economic governance. The Chinese government seeks to expand the country’s huge market to the world thereby fostering trade liberalization and economic globalization.

Nomalungelo Gina, the Deputy Minister at South Africa’s trade department, disclosed that with continuous participation in the CIIE, the export of South African value-added products to China will increase.

Gina went on to say that since 2009, “China has been South Africa’s number one trading partner globally as well as in the Asian region.” She also revealed that the 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,” Gina said.

The Deputy Minister added that South Africa’s participation will also contribute to 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.

South Africa’s participation in CIIE is under The Department of Trade and Industry’s 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.

Earlier this month, the scheme funded 17 South African agribusinesses on a trade mission to the United States. Subsequently increasing the estimated $8.5 billion products exported from South Africa to America in 2018.

Another outward mission that aims to facilitate access for South African value-added products and services into the Russian market is scheduled for February 2020 in Russia. This will take place under PRODEXPO -the largest annual specialized exhibition in Russia and Eastern Europe.

In addition to the Department of Trade and Industry’s objective to build mutually beneficial regional and global relations, the department has led several companies on trade missions and international exhibitions outside the country to advance trade relations.

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