S. Africa should exploit growing Chinese market by attending import expo: experts

Source:Xinhua Published: 2018/11/3 7:47:03

South African businesses set to participate in the upcoming China International Import Expo (CIIE) should use the opportunity to access the Chinese market, business experts have said.

The expo, to run from Nov. 5 to 10 in Shanghai, is aimed at promoting economic and trade cooperation and boosting world economic growth.

TRADE LIBERALIZATION & ECONOMIC GLOBALIZATION

"I'm all in favour of free trade and easier movement of people and goods and of services. I believe that African countries taking part in it (CIIE) should ensure that they benefit from trade relations and improve their economies," said Jannie Rossouw, professor of Wits School of Economic and Business Science.

According to the organizing committee, more than 2,800 companies from all over the world have confirmed they would attend the CIIE.

They are from more than 130 countries and regions, including over 200 Fortune Global 500 firms and leading enterprises in various industries.

"It is a significant move for the Chinese government to hold the CIIE to firmly support trade liberalization and economic globalization, and actively open the Chinese market to the world," the organizing committee said on its website.

STRONG TRADE LINKS BETWEEN CHINA & SOUTH AFRICA

In a commentary published in April in South African daily Pretoria News, Chinese Ambassador to South Africa Lin Songtian said trade and investment between the two countries have grown immensely.

"China has for nine years in a row been South Africa's largest trading partner. In 2017 bilateral trade grew by 11.7 percent to 39.17 billion US dollars, a more than 20-fold increase from the figure at the beginning of diplomatic relations," Lin said in the article.

"South Africa has been China's largest trading partner in Africa for eight consecutive years, accounting for a quarter to a third of China-Africa overall trade," he noted.

According to the Chinese diplomat, last year South Africa became the first country on the continent to export beef to China. The two nations are strategic partners in many fields, including trade, mining, manufacturing, finance and commerce.

The CIIE was an opportunity for South African businesses to expand and to diversify products being exported to China, said Efficient Group Chief Economist Dawie Roodt.

"The trade between South Africa and China is very important for South Africa...this is an excellent opportunity and I hope our businesses will make use of this opportunity," Roodt said.

OPPORTUNITY TO LEARN MORE ABOUT CHINESE MARKET

Bongani Lukhele, director of media relations of South African Department of Trade and Industry, said that several South African businesses set to take part in the expo would use the opportunity to learn more about the Chinese market.

"Twelve companies specializing in services (emerging technologies and service outsourcing) will participate in the exhibition. The expo will expose South African exporters of a range of products and services to export opportunities and create opportunities for them to access the Chinese market," said Lukhele.

"We will also create the opportunity for exporters to obtain first-hand market information and to understand the distribution channels, barriers and procedures for entering and supplying the Chinese market," he added.

The organizing committee said the exhibition area will exceed 270,000 square meters, including trade and investment pavilions for different countries and exhibition halls for companies.

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