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People's Daily Online>>China Business

Mission to enhance image of S. Africa

By Wang Yanlin (Shanghai Daily)

15:20, November 29, 2011

South Africa, known for its mining resources, wants the Chinese to know that it has a wide range of "well-developed" industries producing a diversity of products as it aimed to step up trade and investment with China to a higher level.

"There is a wide range of well-developed industries in South Africa that are not known to Chinese people," Lionel October, director general of South Africa's Department of Trade and Industry, said in Shanghai yesterday.

"We hope to better cooperate with China and build up closer and longer-term ties in trade and investment," October, who led a business mission to Shanghai to seek opportunities, added.

Besides rich in mineral resources, October said South Africa is also strong in sectors like agricultural products, wine, automobiles and chemicals.

Thandi Wines was one of the companies in the delegation and its general manager Vernon Henn said the company was looking for a Chinese partner to retail its wine products in China.

"With demand in Europe and the United States shrinking, we look on the Chinese mainland as a strategic market," Henn said.

There was also room for enhanced cooperation in traditional areas like mining.

South Africa is willing to share its experience and technology with China in gold mining, said Peter Bouwer, chief strategy officer at Rand Refinery, another member of the delegation. China overtook South Africa as the world's biggest gold producer last year.

October said Chinese investment in South Africa was mainly focused in financial services and mining.

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