In an effort to strengthen bilateral relations and trade ties, South Africa and China have signed a number of strategic agreements.
One of the agreements was a five to 10 year strategic programme on co-operation, focusing on bilateral cooperation, including "political mutual trust and strategic co-ordination" and co-operation in international affairs and BRICS [Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa] related issues.
The countries also agreed to further improve bilateral cooperation in trade and investment to redress the structural imbalance in the two countries' bilateral trade. An action plan on agriculture cooperation -- including the protocol of phytosanitary requirements (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, according to the Presidency, was an affirmation that both countries stand ready to strengthen personnel and technology exchanges as well as promote agricultural capacity building through exchanging delegations.
“The agreement further promotes hosting technology and management workshops, and strengthening cooperation between research institutes, universities and colleges of the two countries,” the Presidency said.
The agreements were signed after the talks between President Jacob Zuma and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping on Thursday.
President Zuma said the signed agreements affirm the Beijing Declaration on the Establishment of a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, which was signed in 2010 and will further enhance the strategic relations that the two countries enjoy.
“We will also look at ways of enhancing cooperation in various sectors such as finance, the environment including cooperation in the Ocean Economy, trade and investment as well as transport and agriculture,” President Zuma said.
President Zuma said South Africa was looking forward to the conclusion of the 5 - 10 Year Framework on Cooperation during this visit, which will further enhance the implementation of the outcomes of the Bi-National Commission and the Inter-Ministerial Joint Working Group.
“We need to improve cooperation in the financial sector, allowing easier access to each other’s financial markets,” the President said.