Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa on Tuesday, 22 November 2016 at Tuynhuis, Cape Town, host the Vice President of the Peoples Republic of China, Mr LI Yuanchao, for the 6th Session of the South Africa-China Bi-National Commission (BNC) aimed at consolidating bilateral political, economic and trade relations between the two countries.
Relations between South Africa’s and the Peoples Republic of China are at the level of a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership (CSP) facilitated through the BNC a mechanism established to regulate bilateral relations between the two countries.
The 6th session of the BNC will review progress made since the last BNC held in 2013 in Beijing and receive reports from the sectoral committees on Foreign Affairs; Trade and Investment; Energy, Mineral Resources, Science and Technology, Education. The BNC will also endorse the creation of two additional working groups on the Oceans Economy and Agriculture.
During his state visit in 2014 to the Peoples Republic of China, President Jacob Zuma took an important step in signing the Five-to-Ten year Strategic Programme for Co-operation with clearly established targets that seek to take relations between the two countries on a higher trajectory.
On the other hand, President Xi Jinping signed agreements with South Africa worth more than R94billion thus deepening bilateral co-operation between South Africa and the Peoples Republic of China. It is expected that during the current session of the BNC more bilateral agreements in the areas of Special Economic Zones, Industrial Parks and Production Capacity Co-operation will be signed.
Bilateral trade between the two countries has grown from R118 billion to R293 billion by the end of 2015 making the Peoples Republic of China as South Africa’s biggest trading partner.
South Africa has expressed its appreciation of the Peoples Republic of China’s successful hosting of the G20 Summit where South Africa’s proposal for the examination of the challenge of illicit financial flows relating to trade mispricing was accepted.
South Africa and the Peoples Republic of China continue to co-operate at a multilateral level including the need for the reform of institutions of global political and economic governance, namely the United Nations and its subsidiary organisation and the World Bank. Equally, through China-Africa Forum (FOCAC) the two countries continue to work for Africa’s developmental agenda an in pursuit of the objectives of Africa’s Agenda 2063.
Both countries are key members of BRICS. The Peoples Republic of China is poised to assume the chairpersonship of BRICS in 2017. South Africa on the other hand will assume the chairpersonship of the organisation in 2018 is scheduled to host the launch of the BRICS New Development Bank’s Africa Regional Centre in Johannesburg in December 2016. The BRICS Summit held in October 2016 in India culminated in the signing of three important agreements incorporating an:
- MOU on Mutual Cooperation among diplomatic academies
- Regulations on a Customs Cooperation Committees of BRICS
- Agreement for the Establishment of a BRICS Agricultural Research Platform
Deputy President Ramaphosa will be supported during the 6th session of the BNC by Ambassador Dolana Msimang, Ministers Naledi Pandor and Mosebenzi Zwane, Deputy Ministers Nomaindia Mfeketo, Enver Surty, Thembi Majola, Mduduzi Manana and senior government official
Source: The South African Presidency – 22 November 2016