China is one of South Africa’s biggest source markets, the two countries have been focused on strengthening relations between them. Today, China remains one of the biggest investors in the country. It is therefore no surprise that both governments are engaging in ways to enhance the ties between the countries. The Free State provincial government on Wednesday, 15th April, officially opened the “China in South Africa Free State Week” which is expected to last until the 20th of April.
The whole idea behind this initiative is to build on the strong trade and investment relations which is expected to benefit both countries. The Free State province is currently hosting Chinese provinces, cities and universities that the province already has relations with for over 20 years. Potential investors and citizens of China who have a keen interest in this South African province are also attending this prestigious event.
At the end of last year, South African President, Jacob Zuma and His Excellency Xi Jinping declared 2014 as the year of South Africa in China. To build on that agreement, the Free State government, is set on the promotion of the South African culture and on promoting unity between the two countries. Free State boasts in successfully enrolling disadvantaged students in many universities in China to pursue careers in fields such as Medicine, Pharmacy, Education, Accounting and Engineering, among others. The provincial government has also been making significant strides.
The Chinese delegates will be taken to various places in the province to explore tourism and investment opportunities. The Free State government will also be presenting infrastructure and investment plans which will assist the potential investors in their decision-making. Manufacturing and investment will be the core focus during this China Week in South Africa. The focus will also be on strengthening co-operation in fields such as education, agriculture and other industries.
At the moment, South Africa has more than 100 multinational companies investing in the country and this number is expected to grow even further within the next couple of years.
We hope that the China Week in South Africa becomes a success and will benefit communities not just in the Free State province but in South Africa as a whole.