BEIJING - Companies and organizations from China and South Africa on Tuesday signed over a dozen cooperative documents at a business forum, according to the South African Embassy in Beijing.
South African President Jacob Zuma (L) shakes hands with with Chinese President Hu Jintao in Beijing, August 24, 2010. [Agencies]
The documents, involving projects in areas such as solar power, mining, telecommunications, insurance and finance, were signed at a business forum attended by visiting South African President Jacob Zuma.
According to the Embassy, a 240-million-euro ($300 million) loan agreement between South African mobile phone operator Cell C, and China Development Bank was included in the deals.
The announcements also included the acquisition by South Africa's Discovery Health of a stake in Ping An Health Insurance, a subsidiary of China's second largest Insurer, the Ping An Insurance Group.
Sean Huang, a business development manager with crystalline silicon solar panel producer Suntech Power Holdings Co, Ltd, told reporters that his company inked a memorandum of understanding with a South African company on photo-voltaic power generation facilities.
Huang said the two sides enjoyed great potential in new energy cooperation.
Addressing the forum, Zuma said South Africa welcomed Chinese investors, as China was one of the most important strategic partners of South Africa. [Address by President Zuma to the South Africa-China Business Forum]
Zuma said as China's investment in South Africa was focused on the mining and finance sectors, he hoped the two countries could advance cooperation in infrastructure, telecommunications technology and energy.
At the beginning of 2009 China became South Africa's largest export destination by country, and on the import side China remained South Africa's largest partner.
Chinese Vice Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng called on the two countries to deepen cooperation in energy and resources, make efforts to expand cooperation in new industries and improve trade environment.
Gao said China would encourage companies to import more high value-added products from South Africa, and exert more effort on Sino-South African joint business in mineral processing areas.
Zuma was accompanied by a 300-strong business delegation, the largest of its kind on a foreign tour since he took office.
He held talks with Chinese President Hu Jintao late Tuesday, and will meet with top Chinese legislator Wu Bangguo, Premier Wen Jiabao and Vice President Xi Jinping on Wednesday.