South Africa and China on Thursday signed a number of strategic agreements aimed at strengthening bilateral relations and strengthening trade ties, the presidency said.
“The agreements were signed at the historic state visit by His Excellency President Jacob Zuma to China where he held official talks with his counterpart, His Excellency President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China,” spokesman Mac Maharaj said in a statement.
One of the agreements was a five- to 10-year strategic programme on co-operation, focusing on bilateral co-operation including “political mutual trust and strategic co-ordination” and co-operation in international affairs and BRICS- [Brazil Russia India China South Africa] related issues.
The countries also agreed to further improve bilateral co-operation in trade and investment to redress the structural imbalance in the two countries’ bilateral trade.
An action plan on agriculture co-operation, including protocol of phytosanitory requirements, that is, the control of plant diseases, for maize and apples exported from South Africa to China, and for dates exported from China to South Africa, was signed.
“The signing of the agriculture-related agreements was affirmation that both countries stand ready to strengthen personnel and technology exchanges as well as promote agricultural capacity building through exchanging delegations,” Maharaj said.
Zuma said: “We will also look at ways of enhancing co-operation in various sectors such as finance, the environment including co-operation in ocean economy, trade and investment, as well as transport and agriculture”.
Zuma also called for improved financial sector co-operation to allow the countries easier access to each other’s markets. SAPA