Chinese Commerce Minister Wang Wentao met with Paul Mashatile, the deputy president of South Africa, on Wednesday in Pretoria. The two officials pledged to enhance economic and trade cooperation, as reported by the Chinese Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) on Thursday.
During the meeting, Wang emphasized that China and South Africa share a unique friendship as "comrades and brothers." He noted that under the strategic guidance and personal endorsement of the two heads of state, bilateral economic and trade cooperation has experienced significant growth, stated MOFCOM in a press release.
China aims to deepen and broaden trade and investment collaboration with South Africa. The goal is to boost the export of high-quality South African products to China, aid Chinese enterprises in deepening their engagement in South African sectors like manufacturing, mining, and agriculture, and foster cooperation in emerging fields such as new energy, the digital economy, and cross-border e-commerce, the statement explained.
Mashatile expressed South Africa's strong appreciation for its special and amicable relationship with China. He also lauded the achievements resulting from the collaboration between the two nations. Furthermore, he expressed a desire to expand exports of agricultural and industrial products to China and attract more Chinese businesses to invest in South Africa, as per the MOFCOM statement.
China-South Africa economic and trade cooperation is thriving due to their close ties. In the first seven months of 2023, China's trade with South Africa surged by 10.5 percent year-on-year, reaching 226.15 billion yuan ($32.69 billion). China's exports to South Africa increased by 16.5 percent, while imports from the country rose by 6.1 percent, according to official Chinese data.
Efforts to bolster bilateral trade are actively underway. In May, China's prominent agricultural and food company, COFCO Corp, received a substantial shipment of 53,000 tons of corn from South Africa. COFCO intends to intensify its research on South African corn, increase its purchasing scale, and establish a regular import of South African corn, as reported by Xinhua.