PRETORIA, South Africa is keen to collaborate with and explore investment opportunities and partnerships with Chinese companies, says Trade and Industry Deputy Minister Bulelani Magwanishe.

Speaking at the reception for a Chinese business delegation from Zhejiang Province at the Chinese Embassy here Thursday, Magwanishe said the government was hard at work creating an enabling environment for business to thrive. The eastern province of Zhejiang is known for its high-tech industries, electronics and is also a leader in the 4th Industrial Revolution.

South Africa is therefore eager for collaboration, to actively explore investment opportunities and partnerships with Chinese companies. Currently we have diversified our Special Economic Zones (SEZs) to accommodate all our attractive sectors. Our SEZ Programme offers lucrative opportunities for investors, said Magwanishe.

He said South Africa and China have been engaged in a fast growing economic relationship. China has been South Africa’s top trading partner since 2009.

He acknowledged the increase of Chinese investment into South Africa through platforms like the Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) forum and the Forum on China-Africa Co-operation (FOCAC) has been received with great enthusiasm.

With South Africa hosting the 10th BRICS Summit (next month), it certainly is a strategic time to strengthen our collaborative efforts with the Peoples Republic of China. Our government has developed workable action plans, with sectoral areas to upscale South Africa’s industrialisation capacity,” he said.

Foreign Direct Investment, thus becomes critical to building productive capacity, through the transfer of knowledge and technology,

China’s Ambassador to South Africa, Lin Songtian, said that after 20 years of joint efforts, China and South Africa have established comprehensive strategic partnership, creating tangible and visible benefits for both countries.

He said that China has for nine years remained South Africa’s largest trading partner, and one of the most important sources of foreign investment and tourists. China-South Africa relations are strategic, all-dimensional, and mutually beneficial, he added