SA-China trade imbalance to top agenda of Ramaphosa, Xi meeting

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Narrowing the significant trade imbalance that exists between South Africa and China will top the agenda of the meeting between President Cyril Ramaphosa and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping later on Tuesday morning.

President Xi is in the country on his fourth state visit to Pretoria.

He will also participate in the 15th BRICS Summit starting in Sandton, north of Johannesburg, later on Tuesday afternoon.

Relations between South Africa and China are underpinned by a 10-year Strategic Programme of Cooperation entered into in 2019, and this visit is seen an opportunity to assess progress in the areas of cooperation and collaboration.

Government says its trade with fellow BRICS members accounts for 21% of the country’s global trade, with China accounting for the lion’s share of the BRICS club’s trade with South Africa at 68%.

Speaking on the visit, Ramaphosa says Pretoria has a lot to learn from Beijing, which has lifted nearly 800 million people out of poverty over a 40-year period, with a two-way trade having grown exponentially, from less than a billion rand in 1998 to over R 614 billion in 2022.

He says they hope to use this state visit to discuss how to narrow the significant trade deficit between the two sister republics.

VIDEO: Ramaphosa welcomes Chinese counterpart at OR Tambo International Airport: