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Chinese companies clinch deals at S. African exhibition

By Ndumiso Mlilo in Johannesburg | | Updated: 2022-11-22 17:56
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More than 400 Chinese manufacturers exhibited over 7,500 products in Johannesburg, South Africa and clinched deals worth more than $400 million with African entrepreneurs during this year's China Homelife expo.

The exhibition was suspended for the past two years because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Binu Pillai, chief operating officer of organizer Meorient International Exhibition, said last week's show provides a platform for the African business community to meet Chinese manufacturers face to face without traveling to China.

Goods on show included high-quality textiles and garments, household and consumer electronics, electric appliances, building materials and cosmetology.

Auto parts and equipment involved in food processing, industrial machinery, power and electricity, lighting and epidemic prevention were also on show.

Pillai said they vet those intending to come to the exhibition to ensure quality goods are showcased. The exhibition allows business communities from the region to access affordable, quality products from China, he said.

"We are very pleased with the turnout, that's encouraging. By the end of the second day of the show $400 million in deals had been signed. The show was better than we had expected. We were expecting 2,500-3,000 visitors per day and we got over 4,000 per day," Pillai said.

He explained the visitors were from different provinces of South Africa and neighboring countries, with some coming from as far as Angola.

Puseletso Kofa, founder of Dirong Investments and Motor Spares, said she signed deals with three Chinese companies to enter into a joint venture to manufacture auto components.

The company has been selling auto components in southern African countries and Kofa said they want to venture into manufacturing.

She said, "It was a successful show for us as a small business, especially owned by a black female. Our engagement with those companies is for them to come to South Africa to manufacture products and we would be in a joint venture. Remember, manufacturing creates jobs and skills transfers. We do not want to be consumers any more, we want to produce."

Kofa said she collected some samples from Chinese companies to present them to some motor manufacturers in the country.

Traditional leader King Themba Solomon Mazibuko and his entourage attended the show and invited the Chinese government and companies to continue investing in the country to create jobs and transfer skills.

"We have high levels of poverty and unemployment and would like the Chinese to assist us to address that. I am in this show to invite them into our communities to help our youth with skills and even take them to China for training to help our country. We are asking them to help create jobs in our country and grow the economy," he said.

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