China-Africa cooperation across all areas

Rwandan Ambassador to China, Charles Kayonga has stated that Africa and China are enjoying cooperation “across all areas”, and that the mutual work should continue.

Kayonga said in addition to political exchanges that China-Africa cooperation is also vigorous in fields including infrastructure, industry and agriculture.

There are successful projects carried out under the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation.

He cited two Chinese-built railways, including one linking Djibouti and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, as well as “hundreds of Special Economic Zones across the continent, that bring many benefits to both sides”.

The ambassador told China Dailythat “we have had financing for a number of roads, and we have seen direct investment by Chinese companies in a number of businesses rise.”

Kayonga added that Africa is in need of infrastructure, among other things, to achieve sustainable economic transformation.

According to Kayango, the cooperation with China will help finance the infrastructure projects to spur the continent’s industrial development, which will in turn favour China in its vision of going global.

He has confirmed that Rwandan President Paul Kagame, also chairman of the African Union, will attend the 2018 Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation taking place in October.

The Summit is expected to better align the Belt and Road Initiative with development strategies of African countries.

The Belt and Road Initiative, along with its related infrastructure projects on the continent, “will bring Rwanda and other landlocked countries in Africa out of isolation while facilitating integration of the continental economy into the global economy”, Kayonga said.

For Kayonga, by building such a community, China and Africa will be able to better complement each other.

“The concept of a shared future for China and Africa refers to strategies by both sides to ensure that they apply their respective advantages and opportunities for mutually beneficial ends,” he said.


Source: China Daily


May and Ramaphosa tighten partnership

During her first premiership visit to South Africa this week, Prime Minister of Britain, Theresa May met with South African President Cyril Ramaphosa to discuss plans to strengthen the relationship between the two nations.

This visit kicked off her three-African-country tour. Her next stops are Nigeria and Kenya.

The United Kingdom has been one of the largest global trade partners to South Africa; a 2017 reports shows the UK as the 6th largest partner with a total trade at R79.5 billion. In terms of export, Britain in 2017 was number 8 with R46.3 billion worth of SA goods. Over the years, the UK has been a key tourism source for South Africa, with an estimated 448 000 visitors recorded to have visited South Africa last year. Ramaphosa and May used the state visit to renew their commitment to each other and tighten the partnership between the two countries.

The conversation between the two heads of states also involved identifying key areas of investment that will help boost economic growth and development. Ramaphosa after talks with the UK leader stated: “We have noted with great satisfaction the strong relationship between South Africa and the United Kingdom in wide-ranging areas of co-operation including energy, science and technology, education, health, arts and culture.” The key sectors identified included manufacturing, agro-processing, infrastructure development, mining, energy and tourism.

(Additional Reporting: African News Agency)

Twenty years of strategic partnership between South Africa and China

This year marks the 20th anniversary of diplomatic ties between China and South Africa. According to Chinese President Xi Jinping, “this relationship has made big strides and demonstrated a strong growth momentum in political trust, economic and trade co-operation, people-to-people exchanges and strategic co-ordination”.

The partnership between the two countries has over the years been strengthened through bilateral mechanisms, FOCAC, the Belt and Road Initiative, BRICS co-operation, and other platforms that deepen co-operation in key areas such as industries, production capacity, resources and energy, infrastructure, finance, tourism, and digital economy and deliver more benefits to the people.

China has been a major investment partner to South Africa, making South Africa the top destination of Chinese investment in Africa. For the past nine years, China has been South Africa’s largest trading partner – at the end of 2017, bilateral trade between the two countries grew by 11.7%. In September 2017, South Africa became the first African country to export beef to China. In the tourism industry too, South Africa has hosted the largest number of Chinese tourists in Africa, which includes students, as well as the Confucius Institutes and Classrooms.

The Chinese government has assured South Africa that they will continue making great efforts to support and assist South Africa in their development strategies that will ensure fast economic development that will allow South Africa to continue to play a leading role in African affairs. This year South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa has stated that China President has committed to investing $14.7 billion into South Africa. More agreements and memorandums of understanding were signed this year by the two countries, these agreements are intended to further deepen relations. Some of the agreements are between big businesses, state-owned entities and even visa regimes.

Related Story: [OPINION]: China’s building BRICS in South Africa

The China/South Africa partnership goes beyond economics and politics as over the years there has been several student exchange programs between the two countries. For the past several years the Free State government has sponsored students to go study in China for their undergraduate qualifications, this has not been happening in Free State only, last month eight South African students from False Bay TVET College have left on a year-long internship to China.

Both the President of South Africa and Xi Jinping, President of China have assured each other that the partnership and cooperation between the two countries will continue. President Ramaphosa said reporting back to Parliament after the third bilateral meeting between the two head of state: “We have a strategic relationship with China and we intend to exploit it to good effect because they have offered to assist us and they have not offered to dominate us and that to us is an important part”.

By Ntsikelelo Kuse

US-China trade war can make Indian products competitive

The Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) has reported that Indian products may become more competitive. This is believed to be caused by the US imposing additional 25% duty on imports worth USD 34 billion from China.

An analysis by the industry chamber revealed that India should focus on the US market for items in the categories of machinery, electrical equipment, vehicles and transport parts, chemicals, plastics and rubber products. 

“India can focus on numerous goods for expanding its exports to the US and China markets following the hike in duties by both countries on imports from each other,” the CII said. 

According to the chamber, included in top exports from India to the US, are pumps, parts of military aircrafts, parts for electrodiagnostic apparatus, passenger vehicles of 1500-3000 cc, valve bodies and parts of taps.

The CII said exports for these items stood at over USD 50 million in 2017, and can be increased with concerted efforts. 

The CII added that based on India’s current exports to the US in these categories, products such as intermediate parts for the defence and aerospace sector, vehicles and auto parts, engineering goods, etc. have a higher potential for export.

“Sectors like apparel and textiles, footwear, toys and games and cellphone manufacturing are becoming competitive industries in India and need to be encouraged,” said the CII. 

The chamber suggested that the trade dialogue with the US should be strategized, taking into account India’s competitive advantage in these products. 

Source: The Economic Times

Heineken seals $3.1 billion tie-up with China Resources Beer

Heineken has struck a $3.1 billion partnership with China Resources Beer, as the two firms seek to tap a growing thirst for premium brands in the world’s biggest beer market.

The agreement comes as global beer giants Heineken, AB InBev and Carlsberg face tough competition in emerging markets.

Chairman of China Resources Enterprise, Chen Lang said: “We believe we can win together in this new era of the Chinese beer market, in which the premium segment will become increasingly important.”

Lang included that this is the perfect partner to achieve ambitions in China, as well as an international partner. He believed that the deal will support in growing business outside of China.

Analysts said Heineken entered China in 1983 but has struggled to set up a strong distribution network and to make a mark with its flagship Heineken lager, which lags far behind AB InBev’s Budweiser in the premium market.

The growing demand for high-end beers from cosmopolitan Chinese consumers could help global brewing giants unlock higher profits in China.

The Chief Strategist at First Shanghai Securities, Linus Yip said: “It is a win-win deal for both companies. CR Beer can, through the partnership, gain a great premium beer portfolio in the short run while the deal can accelerate the Chinese brewer to go overseas with its Snow brand in the longer run.”

He expects the deal will also help China Resources Beer expand its market share and give it a lead over Chinese rivals such as Tsingtao Brewery.

Source: reuters


[WATCH]:10 reasons why you should invest in South Africa

Trade and investment opportunities were a top item on the agenda during the first two days of the 10th BRICS Summit, hosted by South Africa. The Summit opened with a Business Forum aimed at enhancing trade between members of the BRICS bloc.

Video courtesy of: Government ZA

BRICS Africa Infrastructure Programme launches

The BRICS establishment continues to break new grounds ahead of the upcoming 10th BRICS Summit.

Wednesday 10 July marked the official launch of the BRICS Africa Infrastructure programme, initiated by the BRICS Business Council Infrastructure Working Group. This is a brand new project portal  that will create and encourage connectivity amongst BRICS member states.

The Infrastructure Working Group in partnership with with Transnet are tasked with the mission of promoting manufacturing, job creation and facilitate interaction among businesses.

Said Transnet Freight Rail Chief Executive, Mr. Ravi Nair: “The Working Group is creating the connectivity of BRICS  projects as a vehicle for project owners to meet with potential funders/sponsors. It will also be available to the global community that is interesting in understanding the status of infrastructure projects and their funding. The projects’ visibility will assist in unlocking more opportunities, funding and to initiate practical cooperation projects in the infrastructure space. The portal will also allow African investors interested in opportunities in other BRICS Member states to have access to project information.”

The portal will be hosted on South Africa’s BRICS business Council website. The BRICS Business Council was established in 2013 with the aim of promoting business engagement between the BRICS countries.

Additional reporting: SABC News

BRICS Friendship Cities, Local Government Cooperation & Meeting of the BRICS Ministers of Disaster

The BRICS Friendship cities, Local Government Cooperation and Urbanisation Forum and the meeting of the BRICS Task Force on Disaster Management took place from the 28 June – 1 July in Buffalo City, East London.

A declaration regarding the engagement of BRICS states/provinces through cities and local bodies was signed at the Ministerial Meeting. The Urbanisation Forum’s main goal is to promote people to people cooperation amongst BRICS nations and collaboration at local government level.

The Meeting of the BRICS Ministers of Disaster was hosted by the Deputy Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Mr Andries Nel. It was an opportunity to discuss South Africa’s socio-economic development and inclusive growth plans, and how BRICS could help in achieving those plans. It also provides a platform in addressing challenges facing the BRICS countries like eco-building, eco-city design, the upgrading of infrastructure and informal settlements as well as new city enlargement proposals.

The disaster meeting was also a chance to learn and share ideas on disaster recovery, how to help municipalities in trouble, how to build durable urban areas, risk management, migration management, how to use urban development to end poverty and help the disadvantaged.

The BRICS meetings was also a knowledge exchange on waste reduction, recycling, climate change and energy usage efficiency. The conclusion of these meetings ended in the signing of two separate declarations as a commitment, to affirm cooperation of BRICS countries with in this department and to create a guideline for moving forward.


India diplomatic engagement to explain the new Indo-Pacific policy

India is to engage in-depth diplomatic talks in explication of the new Indo-Pacific policy.  The country will convene with China for a second round of dialogue in the forth coming weeks. India is to also meet Russian officials.

These dialogues come after the second round of the Quadrilateral dialogue between India, Japan, Australia and the US. The dialogue was aimed at establishing informal relations between the countries, as they have a strategic union on issues of the Indo-Pacific. 

See related story: India, Australia, US, Japan to meet in Singapore for the Quad meeting

China and Russia has publicly showed disapproval of the Quad specifically the Indo-Pacific policy in the past, with critics stating that China wants to rule over the Indo-pacific region thus their disapproval.

China, Russia and India form part of the BRICS Bloc it is thus important that the countries have diplomatic relations. A lack unity in key policies will jeopardize the bloc’s corporation. The countries will be meeting in South Africa later this month for the BRICS 10th Summit with the other bloc members South Africa and Brazil.

By Ntsikelelo Kuse

Russia announces that it will host a Russia-Africa Union next year

Russia has announced plans to host a Russia-Africa Union in 2019. This replica of other Africa unions is aimed at strengthening ties, similar to the China-Africa forum and the European union- Africa summit.

Russia is working on a paradigm shift with the Africa Union in a bid to reinforce and strengthen existing diplomatic relations and grow the African economy to the levels of China, US, Europe, India, Japan and South Korea. Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov on an official visit to Rwanda, signaled that this forum will arouse more economic collaborations, open up investment opportunities, address regional security issues and improve the relationship between Russia and Africa.

“We discussed Russia’s idea of holding a large African Union business forum with AU member states and Russia to be attended by entrepreneurs and politicians, possibly next year” said Lavrov at a media conference after a meeting in Rwanda, Kgali.

At a separate media conference, the Russian minister further expressed his interest to form ties with Africa. He added that this tie would be of interest and benefit to both parties and that an event of this magnitude needs careful consideration as it will have more than 50 heads of state participating.

(source: Eurasia review)