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Miniature B20 in SA:“China’s Economy & Opportunities for SA” Seminar held in Johannesburg

(People's Daily Online)  Yu Meng  2016-09-23 10:11

Audiences at the “China’s economy and opportunities for South Africa” seminar held at the Gordon Institute of Business Science in Johannesburg on Sept. 5, 2016. (Picture: People’s Daily Online / Yu Meng)

Johannesburg, Sept. 7 (People’s Daily Online) On the closing day of G20 Hangzhou Summit, a seminar themed “China’s economy and opportunities for South Africa” took place at the business school of the University of Pretoria, the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) Sandton campus. Like a miniature B20, the Johannesburg Consulate sponsored event was hoped to generate new dynamism for China - South Africa Cooperation.

Speakers from both the public and private sector, both Chinese and South African sides shared their vast knowledge on China and Africa economic trends. The informative and in-depth speeches were well welcomed by audiences who were engaged in China-Africa trade and investment, such as Standard Bank and ENS law firm.

The winner of the seminar logo design contest was also unveiled at the event, Kizito and his “Bring both countries together” won the first prize.   


The Chinese Deputy Consul General in Johannesburg, Ren Xiaoxia, speaks at the “China’s economy and opportunities for South Africa” seminar held at the Gordon Institute of Business Science in Johannesburg on Sept. 5, 2016. (Picture: People’s Daily Online / Yu Meng)

In the opening remarks, the Chinese Deputy Consul General in Johannesburg Ren Xiaoxia outlined Chinese President Xi Jinping’s advice towards an innovative, invigorated, interconnected and inclusive world economy. Ren said that today over 140 medium and large Chinese companies were doing business in South Africa and the accumulative investment was over 13 billion US dollars.

Dr. Gao Jian from Anglo Rand Financial Services Group then touched on the economic outlook of China, its One Belt One Road policy, and potential opportunities of China - South Africa cooperation in his speech “The transformation of China economy and its impact abroad”. In the speech, he first reviewed the factors such as policies that released the growth potential since the 1980s up to now, and then he presented the deep-rooted problems, from both the domestic side and overseas, that dragged down the double digit GDP growth to below 7% in 2015.

Dr. Gao then introduced the initiatives taken by the Chinese government, such as developing high-tech, high value-added industries by giving support to innovation-led industries upgrade; deepening reform and economic restructure; attracting private sector investment in the domestic market. Dr. Gao forecasted that in the short run China’s economy would be stabilised by the end of 2016. Combined with monetary stimulation policies and stronger demands from both domestic and overseas market, Dr. Gao said in the long run Chinese economy would recover and regain growth impetus.

The One Belt One Road is a new stage of China’s Go Global strategy, in which South Africa could play a key role, said Dr. Gao. He named clean energy, industrial parks and smart devices for residential housing among other areas as promising markets for Chinese companies. Dr. Gao stressed that at this stage a common standard between China and Africa is important.

From the record of Mergers and Acquisitions happened in Africa, GIBS lecturer Matthew Birtch said regionalisation in Africa attracted lots of investment, especially in the east Africa. Sector wise, he said service industry, such as Fintech and Biotech, is growing faster than the traditional mining industry.

Senior Executive Vice President of Bank of China (BOC) Johannesburg Branch Gao Desheng then briefed audiences the latest RMB internationalisation development in Africa. According to Gao, In 2015 the RMB payments of BOC Johannesburg Branch reached 89.7 billion, accounting for 61.2% of the total 146.5 billion in South Africa. As of June 2016, 68 African financial institutions have opened RMB clearing accounts with Bank of China, including a number of central banks, 41 financial institutions opened an account at the BOC Johannesburg Branch. On 20th June this year, as market creator of the China foreign exchange trade system, Bank of China conducted first direct trading between Rand and RMB. South African Reserve Bank approved BOC as counterparty broker whereby SARB can buy and sell bonds directly with Bank of China.