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S. African deputy president's visit to China cements bilateral ties

Updated: 07 21 , 2015 10:11
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JOHANNESBURG -- South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Sunday that his recent official visit to China has successfully cemented bilateral ties.

Ramaphosa, who was accompanied by a high-powered delegation of government officials and business leaders, has just returned from a visit to China which lasted from July 13 to July 17.

In a statement released by the Presidency, Ramaphosa said the visit has created positive partnership prospects for the future.

China will continue to work with South Africa in implementing the five to 10 year strategic programme of cooperation signed during South African President Jacob Zuma's state visit to China in December 2014, he said.

The two countries also agreed to implement six priority areas to help South Africa in its economic development programmes, the Presidency said.

"China will assist South Africa to advance its industrialization process, develop its special economic zones and to fast track its infrastructure build programme.

"It will further help South Africa to develop its oceans economy, develop its human resources and access development finance," Ramaphosa's spokesperson Ronnie Mamoepa said.

South Africa will also be able to send its civil servants, government officials and business leaders for training at the Chinese Academy of Governance, said Mamoepa.

China has also agreed to provide South Africa with expertise of managing the state owned enterprises (SOEs), he said.

"This aims to enhance the capacity of the state to position SOEs to drive the industrialization and unlock private sector investment between the two countries.

"This builds on the strong relationship that already exists between South Africa and China SOEs," Mamoepa said.

Chinese companies approached by Ramaphosa during this visit also undertook to provide training opportunities to South African students who want to pursue different careers, he said.

Mamoepa said, "This included a firm offer from Huawei to support a five-year ICT (information and communication technology) training programme for 1,000 South African students aiming to pursue a career in technology and innovation."

Critical institutions visited by Ramaphosa and his high-powered delegation while in China included Beijing Economic Technological Development Area, Chinese Academy of Governance and private companies.

"The bilateral discussions focused on trade and investment cooperation, financial cooperation including the BRICS New Development Bank, infrastructure development, energy, vocational training and South Africa's hosting of the Forum on China-Africa cooperation (FOCAC) later this year," said Mamoepa.