At the South Africa – China Trade Cooperation Forum ceremony that took place in Pretoria, the Minister of Trade and Industry of South Africa, Dr Rob Davies, and the Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), Jia Qinglin, attended the signing of investment and trade contracts between companies from both countries. The contracts, worth around US$ 319 million, involve 26 companies working in different sectors that seek to increase their share of goods-sourcing in China for products including mohair, bulk wine, wool, frozen fish, copper, manganese, granite blocks, ferrochrome, and lobsters.
Bilateral trade between South Africa and China has made a huge leap forward in the last few years, mainly as a result of the continued negotiations and trade-promoting policies being developed by the South African government on the one hand and the explicit interest of the Chinese authorities in increasing China´s presence in Africa on the other. The figures speak for themselves: over the last 6 years, bilateral trade has grown more than 520%, going from barely US$ 3 billion in 2003 to US$ 15.46 billion in 2009.
South Africa’s strategy is to act as the gateway for future Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the South African region, promoting itself as one of the most attractive investment locations among developing countries. To this end the country has fostered the development of business-related services and is seeking to maximize its competitive advantages.