South Africa, China sign trade and industry deals

 

 

 

South African President Jacob Zuma hosted his Chinese counterpart President Xi Jinping, who is in South Africa on a State Visit, during which the two will host the Forum for China-Africa Co-operation (FOCAC) summit.

The heads of state evaluated the progress achieved by the bilateral relationship following the conclusion of the Five to Ten Year Strategic Programme for Co- operation adopted at the end of 2014, during Zuma’s visit to the People’s Republic of China.

A progress report outlined the goals achieved in the implementation of the strategic programme with specific reference to the six priority areas identified for 2015, including:

  • Alignment of industries to accelerate South Africa’s industrialisation process
  • Enhancement of co-operation in special economic zones (SEZs)
  • Enhancement of marine co-operation
  • Infrastructure development
  • Human resources co-operation
  • Financial co-operation

Following the progress made in these areas, a number of new and renewed agreements were signed today, including:

Action Plan on the Strengthening of the Joint Working Group between China and South Africa

To accelerate bilateral co-operation on major projects, both sides agreed to further strengthen the Joint Working Group through the action plan to emphasise the following aspects: locomotive procurement, civilian nuclear energy project, investment in renewable energy, investment co-operation in industrial parks, trade promotion, specifically focused on South African product expos and Chinese trade missions, promoting the export of South African products to China and co-operation in Black Industrialists Programmes; visa facilitation, financial cooperation and the upgrading of national electricity transmission and distribution system.

Memorandum of Understanding on Jointly Building the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road

South Africa and China are committed to jointly promote the building of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road (the Belt and Road) through this memorandum of understanding (MOU). China proposed the Belt and Road Initiative in an endeavour to uphold the spirit of the Silk Road, which includes peace, co-operation, openness, inclusiveness, mutual learning, mutual benefit and win-win results and to enrich its meaning with the characteristics of the new era.

The memorandum also aims at creating opportunities for mutual learning, realising better exchange and integration of goods, technology, capital and personnel and promoting the co-ordinated development and common progress of countries concerned in the fields of economy, society, environment and culture, thereby facilitating dialogues and integration of different civilisations. South Africa and China have agreed to jointly explore the converging points between the Belt and Road Initiative and national development of South Africa, to enhance policy co- ordination and pragmatic co-operation, promote win-win co-operation and mutual learning so as to realise peaceful development and common prosperity for both countries.

Agreement between the Department of Environmental Affairs and the NDRC on Strengthening Co-operation in the Oceans Economy

The objective of the Agreement on Strengthening Co-operation in the Oceans Economy is to create co-operation and a consultation platform and to promote co- operation on the oceans economy between the two countries and related organisations and enterprises.

The agreement outlines broad areas of co-operation in the following areas: maritime transport; offshore petroleum resources development; ocean drilling platform building; aquaculture and processing of fish products; port development/construction and operation; port industrial park development; skills development and capacity building; research, technology innovation and technology transfer; oceans environment conservation and management; and other areas of mutual interest as agreed by the parties.

Agreement on the Waiver of Visa Requirements for Diplomatic and Official Passport Holders

The Agreement on the Waiver of Visa Requirements for Diplomatic and Official Passport Holders allows for those citizens from South Africa and China, who hold valid diplomatic or service passports, to enter into, exit from, transit through, or stay in the country of the other party for a period not exceeding 30 days to be exempt from the requirement of having to obtain a visa for the duration of that period. Accredited diplomatic and consular staff, as well as members of their families, shall not be required to obtain a visa for the duration of their accreditation. The agreement shall replace the existing agreement regarding the Waiver of Visa Requirements for Holders of Diplomatic Passports, signed on 24 August 2010.

Memorandum of Understanding on Co-operation in Health and Medical Sciences between the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of South Africa

The objective of the MOU in health and medical sciences between South Africa and China is to expand exchanges in the fields of public health, health care delivery systems and biomedical sciences, as well as establish regular co-operation between health institutions.

Areas of co-operation include: public health services and biomedical research, medical research; primary health care, including family medicine; quality assurance in health care and standards practice; education and training in, and research of, traditional medicine; healthy lifestyles; regulation of medicine, including traditional medicine; pre-hospital emergency medicine; HIV and Aids and TB and MDR-TB treatment; recruitment of health professionals; and human resource development.

Memorandum of Understanding on Co-operation and Development of Science Parks

Following the Agreement on Science and Technology Co-operation concluded between South Africa and China on 30 March 1999, the Five to Ten Year Strategic Framework for Co-operation between South Africa and China (2015-2024) signed on 4 December 2014; and the China-Africa Science and Technology Partnership Programme that was launched in November 2011, the two countries have committed to continue to expand co-operation in the field of science parks on the basis of equality and mutual benefit in order to enhance bilateral research and development partnerships and innovation activities.

The MOU on science park co-operation highlights cooperation between the two countries in business incubation, high-end skills development and ICT research and development investment.

Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of the People’s Republic of China and the Government of South Africa on the Establishment of a China Cultural Centre in the Republic of South Africa

The government of the People’s Republic of China and the government of the Republic of South Africa wish to promote the cultural and exchanges expertise and co-operation between the two countries and strengthen the mutual understanding and friendship.

China will establish a China Cultural Centre in South Africa that will provide quality and publicly accessible cultural programmes through friendly collaboration with its partners.

Memorandum of Understanding between the Department of Public Enterprises, Republic of South Africa, and the State-Owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council, the People’s Republic of China

The MOU between South Africa’s Department of Public Enterprises and China’s State-Owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission intends to facilitate strengthening co-operation in terms of infrastructure construction projects; information communications, as well as co-operation between Chinese and South African energy related companies.

The agreement will create a legal framework for South African and Chinese state-owned enterprises within their oversight control to conduct exchanges and co- operation in the areas of common interests, and as well as to share information and expertise in their respective enterprises.

Memorandum of Understanding on Anti-Monopoly Co-operation between the Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China and the Economic Development Department of South Africa

The purpose of the MOU is to enhance the partnership of Chinese Ministry of Commerce and South Africa’s Economic Development Department by providing a sound mechanism for their communication and co-operation in the fields of competition law and policy, including enforcement.

It will allow exchanging information regarding developments in their respective competition legislation, enforcement and policy; providing comments on drafts of each other’s competition law, regulations and other legal or guidance documents; exchanging information on issues including, but not limited to, definition of relevant markets, theories of harm, the competitive impact assessment and the design of remedies; sharing competition law enforcement experience; sharing practice and experience with respect to law enforcement capacity building; and exchanging views on issues relating to international co-operation on competition law and policy.

Memorandum of Co-operation between the South African Revenue Service of the Republic of South Africa and the Great Administration of Customs of the People’s Republic of China

The memorandum of co-operation between the South African Revenue Service (SARS) and China’s Great Administration of Customs (GAC) intends to strengthen co-operation in the field of administrative assistance in customs matters with the focus on improving mutual understanding of the participants’ custom practices.

The agreement will create a legal framework for SARS and the GAC to promote communication and co-operation in customs administration; technology application, the formulation and implementation of laws and regulations; capacity building; and trade statistics.

The memorandum will also pave the way for the participants to enhance co- operation by developing their capabilities through particular activities, projects and arrangements as well as facilitate co-operation in specific areas, namely the exchange of trade statistics; trade facilitation and identifying and controlling trade risks; improving the existing collaboration in terms of anti-smuggling; exchanging customs valuation methodologies; capacity building as well as exchanging views in areas applicable to multilateral contexts.

Action Plan on Co-operation in Human Resource Development between the Department of Higher Education and Training of the Republic of South Africa and the Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China

The government of China is offering 2 000 training opportunities to South Africa for the period of 2015 to 2020. South Africa’s Department of Higher Education and Training and China’s Ministry of Commerce drafted an action plan on co- operation in human resource development as part of the implementation programme for these training offers.

The action plan will also assist in strengthening the promotion of personnel exchanges, as well as in enhancing mutual friendship between the two countries. It is part of the Five to Ten Year Strategic Programme for Co-operation between the Republic of South Africa and the People’s Republic of China 2015-2024.

Report on the Statistical Discrepancies of Merchandise Trade between the Republic of South Africa and the People’s Republic of China

In recent years, the bilateral merchandise trade between South Africa and China has grown rapidly. From 2004 to 2014, the total bilateral trade value increased 28.4% (compound annual growth) according to Chinese statistics and 20.4% according to South African statistics.

The discrepancies between the trade data of the two countries have been a concern and have had an effect on the objective of understanding and evaluating bilateral trade. Consequently, a joint working group on trade statistics analysis between South Africa and China was established in November 2010, comprised of the Department of Trade and Industry, SARS and the Chinese Ministry of Commerce.

The working group conducted a co-operative study on the cause of the statistical discrepancy in the 2004 to 2009 bilateral merchandise trade data and focused on critically analysing the trade data of 2007 and 2009.

State owned enterprises agreements

Memorandum of Understanding on Strategic Co-Operation entered into between Eskom Holdings and State Corporation of China

The MOU between Eskom and State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC) intends facilitating the strengthening of co-operation between South Africa and China in the field of energy.

The agreement will create a legal framework for Eskom and the SGCC to establish a strategic relationship in order to deepen their co-operation in international business and to exchange experience in technical, managerial and financial fields.

The MOU will also allow the parties to pursue commercial opportunities and exchange information on projects in geographic regions of mutual interest in the fields of transmission and distribution projects, renewable energy projects, off-grid rural electrification programmes.

Loan Agreement between the China Development Bank Corporation and Eskom

Eskom and the China Development Bank will conclude a loan agreement to facilitate South Africa-China investment and trade co-operation and to further support Eskom’s infrastructure construction. The loan facility is to the value of $500-million (R7.2-trillion at today’s exchange rate).

Framework Co-operation Agreement between the China Export Credit Insurance Corporation (Sinosure) and Transnet

Transnet and Sinosure will conclude a framework agreement of co-operation. Sinosure is willing to provide insurance support to Transnet with respect to the financing activities with a total amount of no more than $2.5-billion (the “quota”) in the first phase of co-operation with Transnet, in relation to the procurement by Transnet of mechanical and electrical products and whole-set equipment from Chinese enterprises, and projects contracted by Chinese enterprises in South Africa, as well as operation, maintenance and other related services.

The quota will be preferably used for projects in South Africa, for example railway, ports and pipeline,, and other projects recognised by both parties.

Strategic Co-operation Agreement to Fund Infrastructure and Industrial Development Projects in South Africa and the Rest of Africa between China Construction Bank Corporation and Industrial Corporation of South Africa Limited

The parties will fund infrastructure and industrial development projects, directly and indirectly in South Africa and the rest of Africa, subject to their internal funding processes. The parties will, inter alia, fund project opportunities in South Africa and the rest of Africa, with the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) taking underlying project risk and China Construction Bank taking project risk at the IDC level.

This would involve debt funding. Sectors to be considered for funding include industrial infrastructure, which encompasses energy renewable and conventional; agro-processing; manufacturing and mining beneficiation; among others.

Memorandum of Understanding between the Beijing Automotive Group (BAIC) and the IDC

It is the mutual intention of the parties to co-operate with each other by establishing motor vehicle manufacturing facilities in South Africa at a coastal city – either Durban or East London. The manufacturing facility is intended to create jobs and sell motor vehicles in South Africa and the rest of the African continent in accordance with the terms of reference referred to in this MOU to make reasonable profit.

Co-operation Framework Agreement between the Trans Caledon Tunnel Authority (TCTA) and the China Communications Construction Company

The purpose of this agreement is to assist in establishing and developing a long-term friendly co-operation relationship between the parties in order to fund and implement new projects in the water and sanitation sector in South Africa.

Agreement on the Final Acceptance for CBERS-04 Satellite Ground System in South Africa between the South African National Space Agency and the China Aerospace, Science and Technology Corporation

With the support of the China-Africa Science and Technology Partnership Program (Castep) launched by Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology in 2009, the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) has appointed the China Center for Earth Resource Satellite Data & Application (Cresda) to execute the task of CBERS-04 Satellite Ground System in South Africa for the South Africa National Space Agency (Sansa).

In October, 2015, Cresda completed installation, integration, and training of the CBERS-04 Satellite Ground System in South Africa. From 17 October to 31 November 2015, Sansa successfully completed a test run of the CBERS-04 Satellite Ground System in South Africa.

On 2 December 2015, Cresda and Sansa signed a final acceptance agreement for the CBERS-04 Satellite Ground System in South Africa to certify that the CBERS- 04 Satellite Ground System in South Africa is accepted by Sansa and is formally handed over to it.

Project Management Co-operation Agreement for CAP1400 Project between State Nuclear Power Technology Corporation and the South Africa Nuclear Corporation

The agreement will allow for State Nuclear Power Technology Corporation (SNPTC )and the South Africa Nuclear Corporation to enhance bilateral co-operation in the field of nuclear power. China and South Africa have enormous potential in the peaceful use of nuclear energy.

The SNPTC owns the CAP1400 Project, a nuclear power plant, operated by its subsidiary, State Nuclear Power Demonstration Plant Company. Through this agreement, SNPTC agrees to provide an opportunity for Necsa’s personnel to participate in the construction management of the CAP1400 Project Site.

Private sector agreements

Collaboration and Framework Agreement between Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and Standard Bank-South Africa

The agreement between Standard Bank South Africa and the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China will facilitate the raising of rand-denominated funding for the Chinese bank, which will be made available to strengthen the various sectors of the South African economy, with a particular focus on power and infrastructure. The agreement is worth up to R10-billion over the next five years.

Co-operation Agreement between Investec and the Export-Import Bank of China

On 2 December 2015, South Africa’s Investec Bank and the China Export-Import Bank concluded a strategic co-operation agreement aimed at strengthening and enhancing trade and economic co-operation between the two countries and industrial development.

The agreement establishes a framework for developing a long-term business relationship between the two banks aimed at promoting co-operation in the areas of export finance, project finance, the internationalisation of the Chinese yuan renminbi and its use as a settlement currency in trade, and other finance fields. The two banks will further place special emphasis on co-operation in projects to enhance trade between China and South Africa in mechanical and electronic products, complete sets of equipment, high and new-technology products, energy, raw materials, agricultural products and other products consistent with the economic and industrial development goals of the governments of China and South Africa; energy and infrastructure projects located in China, South Africa or third countries in sub-Saharan Africa to be invested or developed by Chinese and/or South African enterprises, among other fields.

Co-operation Agreement between the China State Council Information Office and the Naspers Group SA

The cooperation agreement between the China State Council Information Office and the Naspers Group SA will promote and create a legal framework to improve co-operation between South Africa and China to actively promote communication between their media practitioners through mutual visits and exposure to local media operations as well as co-produce or promote the co-production of media products, exchange or promote the exchange of content of media products based on a variety of media.

Source: South African Government News Agency