President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Tuesday that the South African government had signed several agreements, including memorandums of understanding (MOUs) on investments, amounting to $14.7 billion with China.
Various government departments signed agreements with the Chinese government in areas, such as the simplification of visas, while state-owned enterprises such as Eskom and Transnet, and private sector companies Standard Bank and Naspers also signed agreements.
The agreements were signed on the eve of the three-day 10th Brics Summit, which opens in Johannesburg on Wednesday.
“We have signed several agreements and memorandums of understanding that are intended to further deepen our relations, including investment commitments that have been struck to the value of $14.7 billion,” Ramaphosa said.
“President Xi indicated that China is ready to invest, and to work with South Africa in various sectors such as infrastructure, ocean economy, green economy, science and technology, agriculture, environment, as well as finance.”
Ramaphosa was hosting the president of the People’s Republic of China, Xi Jinping, who began his state visit at the Union Buildings in Pretoria ahead of the Brics meet on Wednesday.
Ramaphosa said that government recognised that though trade figures had grown steadily over the past two years, bilateral trade had not reached its full potential, hence avenues were being explored for increasing trade and identifying sectors for future investment, and promoting tourism between the two countries.