The Chinese are coming! The South African government has signed several agreements with China, including a visa agreement, and a commitment for China to invest $14.7 billion (R194 billion).
The announcement came earlier this week after the State visit by Chinese President, Xi Jinping, where he met with South Africa’s President, Cyril Ramaphosa to further deepen trade and bilateral relations.
TourimsUpdate reports Ramaphosa said that President Xi Jinping had indicated that China was ready to invest and work with South Africa in various sectors, such as infrastructure development, the ocean economy, green economy, science and technology, agriculture, environment and finance.
“We recognised that, although trade figures have grown steadily over the past few years, bilateral trade has not reached its potential. We have thus explored avenues for increasing trade, identifying sectors for future investment and promoting tourism,” added Ramaphosa.
“I would like to use this opportunity to encourage Chinese visitors to our shores and look forward to closer co-operation in the tourism industry,” said Ramaphosa.
Some of the agreements signed, including the visa agreement, are in trade and industry, agriculture, science, technology, and environment.
The importance of the Chinese market to SA was reiterated by SA’s Minister of Tourism, Derek Hanekom, during a pre-recorded video shared at this year’s Satsa conference, which took place at The Boardwalk Hotel in Nelson Mandela Bay, Eastern Cape. Hanekom said: “China Is very important…and has massive growth potential.”
On this note he said to further tap into the Chinese market, South Africa needed more people to speak Mandarin and, by doing so, would encourage and maintain Chinese arrivals.