SA to Take Part in China-Africa Development Forum
TRADE and Industry Minister, Rob Davies, will join Ministers from more than 50 African countries at the fifth Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), to be held in Beijing from 19 – 20 July 2012. FOCAC is a platform established by Chinese and African countries to foster collective consultation, dialogue and cooperation between the South-South developing countries.
The conference will review the implementation of follow-up activities from the fourth ministerial conference of the FOCAC as well as examine and adopt the Beijing Declaration and Beijing Action Plan for 2013-2015 to define new cooperative programmes to be undertaken over the next three years. Davies explained that the conference was particularly significant for South Africa, as the country will take over as the African co-chair from Egypt for the next three years.
From the broader continental perspective, this strategic partnership has resulted in a substantial increase in trade between Africa and China amounting to approximately US$166 billion in 2011 and has further supported Africa’s infrastructure and industrial development imperatives. Davies added that China, which has become a key development investor and donor in Africa, had also undertaken to support Africa’s regional integration programmes and initiatives to fast track Africa’s economic growth and sustainable development in line with the continent’s priorities.
The focus of South Africa’s participation in the forum is on promoting South African exports and investment in key sectors including capital equipment, chemicals, metals and mining, financial services, agro-processing, energy, Information and Communication Technology (ICT), health and pharmaceuticals. The forum will be attended by Chinese and African State leaders, government officials, entrepreneurs, business associations and will include business-to-business meetings with Chinese entrepreneurs from various industries in order to necessitate collaboration on potential investment and trade opportunities.