Chinese customs and agricultural authorities on Thursday resumed imports of beef from some areas in South Africa that are free of foot-and-mouth disease, following close cooperation between authorities of the two countries to address relevant issues, according to a statement published on the website of the General Administration of Customs (GAC) on Friday.
The move, which was announced just days before meetings of top leaders of the two countries next week, underscored continuously improving China-South Africa ties and will help further boost bilateral economic and trade cooperation.
Imports of South African beef and other related products were suspended after the outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in South Africa.“South Africa since then has actively taken multiple epidemic prevention measures, and the supervision departments of the two countries have been working closely. After scientific assessment and technical consultation, China recognizes South Africa’s ant-epidemic system in accordance with law, and formally lifted the ban,” the statement said.
The move will bring more meat choices to the tables of Chinese consumers, and provide a huge opportunity for South African beef exporters in one of the world’s biggest and fastest-growing markets. In 2022 alone, China imported $17.76 billion worth of beef, up 42.19 percent year-on-year, according to the GAC.
The moves also come amid booming trade and economic relations between China and South Africa, which are expected to elevate further with Chinese top leader’s state visit to South Africa next week.
Both China and South Africa are members of BRICS, and the 15th BRICS Summit will open in Johannesburg, South Africa next week.
China has been South Africa’s top trading partner for 14 consecutive years, while South Africa has also been China’s largest trading partner in Africa for 13 years in a row, data from the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) showed.
In 2022, bilateral trade expanded 5 percent year-on-year to $56.74 billion, setting a new record, MOFCOM data showed. In the first half of 2023, growth of bilateral trade accelerated to 11.7 percent in year-on-year terms, the data showed.