S African president: Ties with China to reach new heights

Updated: 2010-08-24 18:17
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There are also opportunities to be explored in manufacturing, especially in the automotive, agro-processing and textile areas, the promotion of a green economy, agriculture, infrastructure and skills development.

We must also stress that the development of South Africa cannot be divorced from that of the African continent.

In this regard, we wish to express our appreciation to China for the engagement with Africa, in the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation.

We would like to propose a more pronounced emphasis on infrastructure development as a focus of the Forum, as it will be a catalyst for faster economic growth and development in Africa.

The 23rd Session of the NEPAD Heads of State and Government Orientation Committee of the African Union resolved that South Africa would chair the Committee's High-Level Sub-Committee on Infrastructure development on the continent.

South Africa offered to champion the inter-regional road and rail North-South Corridor. This is one initiative that China could explore, in addition to other opportunities within the NEPAD framework.

We must also explore more extensive collaboration between Africa and Asia. Fifty-four Asian and fifty-two African countries are members of the New Asian-African Strategic Partnership, comprehensively bridging both continents.

This grouping provides a unique vehicle for South-South co-operation on sustainable development.

Its revitalization is a strategic focus for both South Africa and Indonesia, who have been appointed Co-Chairs until the next Summit next year.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Honoured guests,

At a global level, South Africa and China are both members of the G20 forum. This provides an opportunity to take forward the needs of the developing world, in Asia and Africa.

The two countries also share the ambitions to open up more markets for the developing world, especially for agricultural products.

South Africa wants to see an international trade system that is more transparent and inclusive, and which is not hostile to the interests of the developing world.

Ladies and gentlemen,

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Let me reiterate our optimism about the success of this visit.

Let me also remind you that good and enduring relations between States are built on sound economic relations. Governments can create favourable conditions for the conduct of good trade relations, and help to eradicate any obstacles in the way of balanced trade.

However, it is the responsibility of the business sector to make the wheels of trade to turn, and to keep them properly oiled.

We leave you with that message and responsibility.

And remember, South Africa is open for business!

I thank you.

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