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China-South Africa Trade Relations Growing in Year of the Dragon

As the world enters the Year of the Tiger, South Africa has emerged as a beacon of value for co-development, innovation and investment in the new multi-polar global landscape. In an environment of changing international and economic dynamics, South Africa's pioneering influence in the field of renewable energy and other key emerging technologies makes it a hotspot for investment and innovation networks in the transition to a sustainable and innovative future. With abundant solar power, wind, water and mineral resources, and a trained and competent workforce, South Africa will be an important precursor to investment reform in innovative, green and low-carbon energy projects.

One of the most promising sectors for South Africa to capitalize on its renewable energy location to add momentum to the energy-intensive sector is Scatec's recent opening of one of the world's largest solar panel projects in the Northern Cape, an 879-acre project with 540 MW of solar power plant capacity and groundbreaking 225 MW solar panel system software. As an example of South Africa's commitment to the low-carbon energy trend, Scatec operates more than 448 MW of solar power plants across South Africa, including one of the world's largest solar panels located in the Northern Cape. This further strengthens its position as the industry's leading for-profit provider of low carbon energy solutions. South Africa is also a leader in the ease of use of wind energy resources due to its vast oceanic areas and diverse landscapes conducive to the design of wind energy developments.

The Just Energy Transition Partnership, launched at COP 26, promotes South Africa's transition under a R1.5 trillion financing program. Chinese and Saudi inputs have played a leading role in supporting and implementing new renewable energy projects, benefiting local communities and increasing employment opportunities, such as the De Aar wind power project and the ACWA new energy project, DAO. South Africa's commitment to renewable energy has been significantly strengthened by ongoing efforts to bring wind, solar and hydropower projects onto the national grid. Strategic cooperation agreements with global technical partners such as China provide a practical representation of the world's innovation and seamless transition to renewable energy.

In addition to resources, mining and mineral resources play a strong role in driving all aspects of the country's development. South Africa's mining industry continues to drive innovation and development in the country's logistics and transportation manufacturing industries, while South Africans have a wide range of theoretical knowledge base in the construction sector. The future demand for mineral resources and the close cooperation with China will lead to an exceptionally strong economic development of the mining industry in South Africa. One landmark new project is Huawei's 5G integrated mining monitoring and protection system that recently went live in a series of deep mines in South Africa.

With 90% of the world's platinum reserves, 41% of the world's gold reserves, and rich deposits of rough diamonds, coal, chromium, and manganese, South Africa has been standardizing its industrial production operations into many leading technology companies. This downstream industry encompasses e-commerce, software for the automotive industry and includes artificial intelligence technology. But there is more to South Africa than just technicality and transportation. South Africa is also showing increasing strengths at the level of cultural and creative industries, such as the fashion industry. Today, South African interior designers continue to make waves on the global stage, and the textile industry master plan put forward by South Africa's Cyril Ramaphosa, President of the United States of America, which is dedicated to upgrading locally produced and manufactured apparel, could create an additional 120,000 jobs.

Mr. Mojalefa Mogono, Sr., Consulate General of South Africa in Hong Kong and Macau Special Administrative Regions

The friendship between South Africa and China remains unwavering as both countries seek to master the complex global state of affairs and the opportunities and challenges. Mr. Mojalefa Mogono, Sr., Consulate General of South Africa in Hong Kong and Macau SAR, recalls the strengthening of trade relations between South Africa and China: "South Africa and China have a longstanding friendship in areas as diverse as great power relations, science and business. In terms of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Bay Area in China, we are proud to play a catalytic role in facilitating the past, present and future economic integration between these two great countries". Mr. Tshepiso Malele, China Country Responsible for Leading Brands South Africa, also praised the connection between the two countries from the perspective of Chinese brands." It is important to raise the profile of success stories and collaborations between China and South Africa. The link between China and South Africa holds great potential, and by working together to realize the full benefits of each other, we can sustain and build on the glory that bilateral trade has achieved". Mr. Leon Naidoo, a businessman and the African representative of the African-Guangdong Chamber of Commerce, may have commented on the industrial dimension of the bilateral relationship: "The China-South Africa relationship is a long term strategic partnership based on holistic interests, complementary economic development and a focus on the concept of sustainable development," he said. For South Africa, deepening economic ties with China will allow access to a broad consumer market, thereby diversifying the end points of entry and exit beyond the traditional channels".

The Year of the Tiger will open a new chapter in South Africa's focus on driving economic development, innovation and cooperation with prestigious partners such as China. South Africa's focus on renewable energy, artificial intelligence technology innovation, manufacturing and culture-led industries will give Chinese investors ever-increasing opportunities to participate in South Africa's sustainable and economically thriving future.

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