President Cyril Ramaphosa has called on South African companies to work in partnership, consolidate South African interests on the African continent and to collaborate with China on projects in line with the country's development and integration objectives.
Ramaphosa made the call on Thursday after returning to South Africa following a two-pronged state visit to China where he co-chaired the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) Summit from 2 to 4 September.
During the visit, South Africa and China entered into several agreements, with one agreement alone worth more than R14 billion, and signed a number of Memoranda of Understanding (MoU), that pave the way for economic growth, educational opportunities and job creation in South Africa.
Ramaphosa described the 2018 FOCAC Summit as a huge success with nearly all of the $60-billion investment and assistance projects of the 2015 Johannesburg FOCAC declaration implemented.
The 2018 FOCAC Summit in Beijing adopted a declaration and announced the allocation of another $60-billion for investment and assistance projects across the African continent in the areas of infrastructure and skills development and other important initiatives.
Ramaphosa said African countries at FOCAC welcomed their win-win relationship with China and valued the support it provides to partners in Africa who wish to exercise their right to development through industrialisation.
The president said African countries and China realised the need to address the issue of trade imbalance.
“Many countries had a sense that in China we have a meaningful partner who is not just there to plunder from the African continent, but a partner who wants to assist fellow partners to reach higher levels of industrialisation,” he said.