Source: Forum on China-Africa Cooperation Updated: 2013/10/30
BEIJING, Oct. 30 (Xinhua) -- South African Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe on Wednesday invited Chinese companies and investors to participate in his country's infrastructure construction so as to promote bilateral economic ties and Africa's growth.
Motlanthe, who just concluded a four-day visit to China, said mega infrastructure projects could promote the inter-connectivity and trade of Africa, as well as financial cooperation between Africa and China.
During the visit, Motlanthe co-chaired with his Chinese counterpart Li Yuanchao the fifth meeting of the China-South Africa Bi-National Commission. Two agreements on tourism and public administration were inked after the meeting.
"We discussed a whole range of issues such as rail construction," Motlanthe told Xinhua before his departure, explaining that South Africa and China have agreed to carry out projects in order to unlock the potential of various South African regions.
"Particularly because China also offers us finance for such mega projects, it offers us a lot of opportunities, for both countries," he said, noting that China has been South Africa's largest trade partner in the world and that South Africa has become China's top trade partner in Africa.
He highlighted the construction of the African North-South Corridor, which is expected to connect Egypt's Cairo and South Africa's Cape Town via roads and railways as part of the African Union's infrastructure movement.
"We need to improve the movement of goods and people across various borders of Africa. That kind of inter-connectivity will also open up prospects for even tri-party cooperation, including Chinese companies," Motlanthe said.
According to an estimate by the World Bank, 93 billion U.S. dollars is needed annually to narrow the infrastructure gap between Africa and the world's other regions. In March, Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged new support for Africa's infrastructure construction, and the funding for such projects has become the Group of 20's priority.
Motlanthe, who paid a visit to the State Nuclear Technology Corporation, also pledged to enhance cooperation with China in the new energy sector, especially nuclear energy, as China owns "tested technologies" and South Africa is expected to build six reactors by 2030.
The deputy president also vowed stronger cooperation with China in multi-lateral organizations and mechanisms.