South Africa: Free State Strengthens Links With China – press release

South African Government Pretoria
Displayed with permission from allAfrica.com

The Free State could soon benefit from future trade relations with China, the second largest economy in the world. This follows MEC Benny Malakoane, responsible for the Economic, Small Business Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs recent engagement with the South African Chinese Entrepreneurs Association. The chairperson of the 400 strong member association, Mr Guodong Li said trade and investment in the Free State will be easy because the Chinese businesses community in South Africa feel welcome and appreciated in the Free State.

Flowing from the China in South Africa week hosted by the Free State in 2015, the province intend to attract the Chinese industrialists in to the Free State to establish factories and create much needed jobs. The Free State has a total of 900 000 m2 of industrial space in Botshabelo, Thaba Nchu, Phuthadithjaba and Tshiame in Harrismith. Earlier this year, the Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davis launched the R24 million industrial revitalisation program to promote industrialisation in the country and boost the country’s manufacturing capacity to increase the production of exportable goods.

In addition to the fully developed industrial infrastructure in the Free State, central location and its well-developed road and rail network makes it ideal for foreign investment. « I would like to believe that our engagement with the association, improves the prospects of successful investment relocation into the Free State in the near future », says MEC Malakoane.

The China in South Africa week was initiated with the objective of strengthening relations and partnerships with Chinese provinces for the development of the Free State economy. BRICS is the acronym for an association of five major emerging national economies: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. The BRICS members are all leading developing or newly industrialised countries, but they are distinguished by their large, sometimes fast-growing economies and significant influence on regional affairs. South Africa is a member of BRICS, alongside Brazil, Russia, India and China, which are the five major emerging national economies.

South Africa is currently exporting trades worth R92.1 billion to China and importing R199.4 billion worth of trades from China, while will benefit the trade portfolio into East Asia. The Free State is ready to tap into this market.

Issued by: Free State Economic, Small Business Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs

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