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CIIE an unprecedented opportunity for small businesses in South Africa: deputy minister

By Sun Zhao in Shanghai (People's Daily Online)    10:26, November 07, 2018

The China International Import Expo (CIIE) is an unprecedented opportunity for small and medium-sized enterprises in South Africa, the country’s deputy minister of small business development told People’s Daily’s Overseas Social Media in an exclusive interview on Monday.

“It’s a platform you rarely come across,” Deputy Minister Cassel Charlie Mathale said in Shanghai, where he is leading 20 South African SMEs from a diversity of sectors including manufacturing, textile, tourism, and chemicals that are exhibiting their products at the Expo.

“The SMEs should grab the opportunity with both hands and use [it] to the maximum, because they’ve not been able to showcase their products in a platform where you have over 100 countries participating,” Mathale said.

“If you’re given an opportunity to display yourself at that level, it’s something that comes once in a lifetime,” he added.

South Africa’s deputy minister of small business development at CIIE

The expo was kicked off by President Xi Jinping on Monday morning with the participation of some 3,000 companies from 130 countries and regions around the globe.

“We’re quite encouraged by the stance that President Xi Jinping has taken with regard to opening up the Chinese market to the outside world, unlike what we see in some other parts of the world, where people are closing in and looking within themselves and no longer being part of the global community,” said the deputy minister.

China has been the world’s second largest importer of goods for nine consecutive years and made up 10.2 percent of all global imports in 2017. Furthermore, China is South Africa’s biggest trade partner and South Africa is China’s biggest trade partner and top investment and tourist destination in Africa.

“Given the population size of the country, a market like this is something that any business person would love to come and showcase their products,” he said.

“If the 20 SMEs can manage to establish relations here, their success will lead to other business people to also come in and the impact will be felt not only in South Africa, but also the African continent.”

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)
(Web editor: Jiang Jie, Bianji)

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