SA to strengthen relations at China-Africa forum

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Pretoria - South Africa will strengthen relations at the 4th Forum on Africa-China Cooperation (FOCAC) which kicks of today in Egypt.

International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana Mashabane and other government senior officials are attending this forum as relations between South Africa and China grow rapidly.

According to the Department of International Relations and Cooperation, the visit comes within the context of strengthening South-South cooperation, which provides the basis for mutual benefit and cooperation between Africa and China.

"Relations between Africa and China have dramatically improved, especially within both the political and economic spheres, following the 1st FOCAC Ministerial meeting in 2000 held in Beijing and the 2nd FOCAC Ministerial meeting in 2003 held in Addis Ababa," it stated.

The forum's central focus will be on the economic development of both Africa and China.

Among the issues to be discussed include Infrastructure Development in Africa which will assist in the development of transportation and telecommunication networks, water conservancy (dams) and power generation facilities.

The forum will further deliberate on the agriculture related issues which will see China providing technical agricultural assistance, machinery and agricultural infrastructure support to African countries.

The department said the forum will further have discussions on the Natural Resources and Energy exploration and extraction.

"Protecting the local environment and promoting sustainable social and economic development in the local areas is also emphasized," the department said, adding that the forum will also have sessions on the investment and business cooperation.

Other issues to come under the spotlight include trade and finance which aim to encourage closer Chinese collaboration with the African Development Bank and regional development banks as well as transport and science and Information Communication Technology.