Busa punts a new China-SA partnership for doing business in Africa

Business Unity South Africa (Busa) is calling for a new partnership for economic cooperation between Chinese and South African business in Africa. 
Addressing more than 400 hundred delegates attending the 3rd session of the World Industrial and Commercial Organisations Forum (WICOF) in Beijing yesterday, Busa CEO Jerry Vilakazi said the new partnership should be premised on the strengths and experiences of South African companies in the continent. 
“We need a new partnership between our two economies, one that recognizes the potential and benefits for local beneficiation in South Africa,” he said.
“A partnership that sees investments in infrastructure development in Africa as a vehicle for development and essential foundation for enhanced future trade and economic cooperation.”
WICOF is hosted by the China Federation of Industrial Economics, United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and seeks to promote economic cooperation between countries of the world and China. 
The theme for this year is “Communication, Cooperation and Win-win.”  It is attended by business leaders from all major economies of the world; but SA is the only African participant.
Busa, in a statement, notes that China is now the second largest single-country trading partner of Africa after the United States.
“This year two-way trade between Africa and China is expected to reach well over $117 billion, an increase of 60% over the total of $73 billion recorded in 2007 and in excess of the US $100 billion target for 2010 which was set up by the African and Chinese leaders during the Beijing Summit and the 3rd Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China – Africa Cooperation in November 2006,” the Busa statement adds.
“22% of China`s exports to Africa go to South Africa – the next country imports half this figure. While Angola tops the list of African exports to China at 37%, South Africa boasts the second highest exports to China at 14%.  However, African exports to China are dominated by oil and mineral products.  SA is a potential hub for future beneficiation and value-add in the continent.” 
Busa believes the time is opportune for Chinese companies to partner with South African companies through joint ventures and strategic investments in Africa. 
In his address Vilakazi noted that besides the ICBC-Standard Bank deal Chinese investments in South Africa have been very limited while South African investments in China have grown over US$ 800 million. 
During the past two years, the Export/Import Bank of China which has representatives in South Africa has made loans totalling US $ 2.5 billion in Zambia and Angola. 
Welcoming the decision taken by leaders of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the East African Community (EAC) to form a single free trade area that would span from Cape to Cairo, Vilakazi noted that the 26 member countries of the three trade groups had a combined population of 527 million and total gross domestic product of $624 billion (R7 trillion), making a strong case for renewed partnership in trade and investment between China and South Africa.