JOHANNESBURG, March 28 (Xinhua) -- South Africa's Ministry of Trade and Industry on Monday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on strategic cooperation with Bank of China in Johannesburg to strengthen the relations between the two entities.
The MOU will enable both parties to treat each other as a preferred partner and share information on investment opportunities.
It will also enable both parties to optimize their own advantages in initiating mutual investment promotion campaigns and to join hands in supporting enterprises of the two countries for more profound investments, as well as economic and trade cooperation.
Dr. Rob Davies, minister of trade and industry, said the signing of the MOU will enhance cooperation between the two countries. "The MOU will allow and strengthen the relations between the government of South Africa and Bank of China, joint sponsorship of seminars and marketing activities."
He also said that both parties will hold a joint investment seminar on May 8-11 in China to promote opportunities in the interests of both countries.
Davies said South Africa will use the opportunity to promote the Special Economic Zones (SEZ) and try to attract investment, noting that South Africa's relationship with China is bearing fruit with investments from Chinese companies.
He said that the MOU is also the "fruition" of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), which was held in his country in 2015.
"This is a step forward in the bilateral relations, many of which are at different stages nearing fruition. The MOU will allow for joint promotion of the Special Economic Zones, important developmental projects critical to the realization of our shared dreams. Bank of China is critical in facilitating investment projects and industrial finance," he said.
He said they would need China's assistance to realize their dream of economic development through SEZ. South Africa will send 40 government officials this year to be trained for SEZ development in China.
"The MOU will enable both parties to establish much closer coordination scheme(s), focus on the plan of 10 major cooperation projects, and give full support to the mutual investment and market expansion of enterprises from (the) two countries," he said.
Bank of China chairperson, Tian Guoli, said Sino-South African cooperation is growing very fast. He agreed with Davies that the 2015 FOCAC promoted comprehensive development of the bilateral relations.
"Though geographically far apart from each other, the friendship between the peoples of China and South Africa has endured the test of time and has grown deeper and stronger."
The Sino-South African relations have great potential to grow, said Tian, adding that Bank of China has played a pivotal role in facilitating China's African strategies and building a bridge of friendship and economic and trade cooperation between the two countries.
The bank has established branches in seven African countries and has networks in Africa among Chinese commercial banks.
"Bank of China has confidence in Africa's development. Through the operation of these banks, we have constructed a financial service network covering mainly African regions to (use) China's financial strengths and contribute to the economic and social development of African countries," Tian said.