Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies is in Shanghai for the first China International Import Expo (CIIE), which kicks off this morning.
Chinese President Xi Jinping announced the hosting of the expo last year as part of showing China’s intention of firmly supporting trade liberalisation and economic globalisation and actively opening the market to the world.
Enterprises from over 100 countries and regions are expected to participate in this first CIIE, which will have supporting activities such as supply-demand matchmaking meetings, seminars and product releases.
Davies is leading a delegation of 27 South African organisations, which include provincial investment agencies, Special Economic Zones, export councils and private companies.
The delegation is being funded by the Department of Trade and Industry through the Export Marketing and Investment Assistance (EMIA) Scheme.
On Sunday, Davies said South Africa will participate in the three main platforms such as the Country Pavilion for Trade and Investment, Enterprise and Business, as well as Fair International Trade Forum.
“These platforms will enable us to promote South Africa’s trade and investment capabilities,” the Minister said.
South Africa will host an investment forum on the margins of CIIE that will be addressed by Davies.
The dti says the focus will be to address potential investors and importers of finished products manufactured in South Africa.
Sectors that are participating include agro-processing, footwear and leather, engineering, petro-chemicals, railway components, defence, and information and communication technology.
Total trade between South Africa and China grew from R205 billion in 2012 to R318 billion by the end of 2017.
The highest peak of total trade registered a growth rate of 24% and this occurred in 2013, due to China’s increased appetite for South Africa’s raw commodities, which decreased to only 6% in 2017.
The trade balance soared from R35 billion in 2012 to its peak of R105 billion in 2015 and then decreased to R87 billion by the end of 2017.
The trade deficit has been attributed to imbalances in the composition of trade between the two countries where South Africa continues to export primary products and commodities to China, whilst in turn, South Africa continues to import manufactured and high-tech products from China.