Looking toward November expos
Updated: 2011-09-15 07:45
SA to invite up to 120 home-grown companies to Beijing and Shanghai trade expos
Diplomatic relations between South Africa and China were established on Jan 1, 1998.
In terms of economic relations, South Africa granted China Market Economy Status (in principle) and the commencement of free trade agreement discussions between the South African Customs Union (SACU) and China was announced in June 2004.
An agreement establishing a Joint Trade and Economic Committee between South Africa and was signed on Feb 2, 1999 by the then Minister of Trade and Industry Alec Erwin.
The agreement broadly commits the two countries to:
Strengthen their mutually beneficial trade and economic ties
Raise the profile of South Africa China relations through the creation of an appropriate institutional mechanism for the strengthening of bilateral economic ties, hence the creation of the Joint Economic Committee, which meets almost every 12 months.
Facilitate trade and business networking through joint business participation in trade fairs and exhibitions in each country.
Subsequent to South Africa's recent admittance into the BRICS group of countries, the Chinese government has committed itself to assist South Africa with the increase in exports of value-added products to the country.
One of the outcomes of the recent BRICS meetings relates to the Chinese government offering South Africa an opportunity to stage an Expo in Beijing, China from Nov 2426, 2011.
South Africa duly accepted the invitation and also intends to stage an Expo in Shanghai from Nov 28-30, 2011.
As an outcome of the BRICS summit in China, the Chinese government committed to assisting South Africa to increase manufactured/value-added exports from South Africa to China.
As a practical step the Chinese government proposed the staging of the South African Expo in China.
The Chinese government indicated that it will cover a large portion of the costs to stage the Expo. South Africa has been requested to recruit 100-120 relevant companies for the event.
The mentioned Expos will be combined with Trade and Investment Seminars.
South Africa will, therefore, utilize the platform for the purposes of both penetrating the Chinese market and attracting foreign direct investment. TISA has therefore been tasked with ensuring the successful realization of the Expos targeting 120 South African companies as exhibitors.
China is the largest economy in the world as measured by purchasing power parity (PPP). In terms of US dollar exchange rate, China's economy is seventh largest. The huge population at 1.3 billion results in a relative per capita income of $7.518 at PPP.
As one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, China's role in the global economy would be: mature market economy, champion of trade, leadership for developing world and strong voice in the world's councils.
The South-South relationship among Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa is also of strategic importance as it grants preferential trade space.
The Expo objectives
Strengthen mutually beneficial trade and economic ties between the two countries.
Raise the profile of South Africa China relations through the creation of an appropriate institutional mechanism for the strengthening of bilateral economic ties.
Showcase South Africa's technology advancement and innovation, mining beneficiation and technology capabilities, defence technology, agro-processing, energy, ICT and engineering.
Exhibit South Africa's value-added goods and services in order to create awareness.
Increase value-added exports to China and globally, therefore enabling South African firms to take advantage of export opportunities in the Chinese market.
Increase foreign direct investment into South Africa and increase joint ventures.
Up to 120 South African companies in the targeted sectors will be invited to apply to participate during the event.
The approved companies will be provided with payment of air tickets, hotel accommodation, freight forwarding of exhibitor's promotional material, attendance of trade and investment seminars, arrangement of business-to-business meetings and possible site visits.
These companies will be selected from South Africa's nine provinces, namely: Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape, North West and Western Cape. South African brands from both the private sector and the public sector will be showcased.
The Expo will have 80 percent representation from the private entities (manufacturers and services providers from medium and large exporters), and 20 percent representation from industry associations, export councils, joint action groups, chambers of commerce and Provincial Investment Promotion Agencies.
These approved companies are expected to have a representation of key decision makers from their entities. The representatives' job functions should include: managing directors, general managers, directors, chief executive officers and export managers.
(China Daily 09/15/2011 page5)