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China, S African business ties flourishing

2013-03-26 16:22 CNTV     Web Editor: yaolan comment

With the BRICS Summit set to open in Durban, many eyes are not only on what this summit will bring to South Africa, but also how it will benefit Sino-South African ties. A veteran Chinese businessman in South Africa sees how the Sino-South African ties have changed since the two countries established diplomatic relations 15 years ago.

It's early in the morning.

Mr. Cao starts his busy day by heading to the airport. Though he has lived in South Africa for more than twenty years, these days have been special for him.

He is the founder of the South Africa-China Friendship Association which aims to boost economic and cultural ties between the two countries.

Cao Xingzhi, Executive President, Sa-China People'S Friendship Association, said, "There are vast investment opportunities in South Africa, but many Chinese companies find it hard to do business here. Our association aims to help educate them about the local culture and serve as a bridge between the two countries in economic and cultural aspects."

He was one of the first Chinese businessmen to come to South Africa. His experiences have given him valuable insight when dealing with tough matters that demand cultural awareness.

He is not alone, as he has been supported by Ms. Li Xiaolin, the president of the Chinese people's Association for Friendship with Foreign countries.

The two associations are going to sign a memorandum of understanding to develop all-round cooperation in trade and finance, culture, education and many other areas.

Ms. Li thinks the timing is perfect.

li Xiaolin, president, Chinese People's Assoc. for Friendship with Foreign Countries, said, "While our President Xi jinping visits South Africa, we are going to sign a memorandum with the SA-CHINA People's Friendship Association for five years exchange program. This has very big significance because due to this platform, we can introduce what's happening in China and to affect the South African people. At the same time, we can exchange local governmental cooperation."

Hou Na, CCTV Reporter, said, "South Africa and China's bilateral trade reached sixty billion US dollars last year. Mr. Cao told me that there are about 50 medium and small sized companies run by Chinese people in South Africa. Bilateral cooperation in finance, energy and infrastructure have been soaring in recent years."

Mr. Cao consults on some important issues with his colleagues. They come from all walks of life in the South African community.

Since the establishment of diplomatic ties fifteen years ago, more and more Chinese are investing in South Africa, and is being welcomed by locals.

Manne Dipico is Mr. Cao's good friend and co-founder of the association.

He thinks a good relationship starts with a better understanding.

Manne Dipico said, "The challenges of the Chinese companies doing business in South Africa, first starts with the language, and then goes to the culture when they do business. African people do things slower, but the Chinese people want to do faster. Also Chinese people said we don't do business with the people owing to we don't understand them. We still want people to have friendship, and relationship and then we do business."

Mr. Cao enjoys his time brainstorming with his African friends.

He thinks the BRICS Summit provides an excellent opportunity for boosting ties.

With the launching of the association, his mission as a bridge between China and South Africa has just started.

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