By H.E. Ambassador Lin Songtian
Dear friends, Good Morning!
I am very glad to be invited to attend the Chinese Enterprises Job Fair and China-South Africa Economic and Trade Achievements Exhibition.
On behalf of the Chinese Embassy in South Africa, I would like to extend a warm welcome to all the distinguished guests. It it our sincere hope that the young South African friends and students who come here can find an ideal job by communicating with the companies face to face.
In April this year, we held the first Chinese Enterprises Job Fair in Boksburg, which was warmly welcomed by the participants. At that meeting, I promised to hold the job fair twice a year thereafter.
Today, we honored our commitment. I am very glad to see that, compared with the first job fair, there are more companies, positions and candidates, and the job fair is more professional and standardized.
It is my firm belief that this job fair can not only provide a convenient two-way selection platform between job seekers and employers, but also fully demonstrate that the Chinese companies’ investment in South Africa have created jobs for the local people and supported South Africa’s economic transformation intead of taking jobs from the local.
Meanwhile, to showcase the outcomes of China-South Africa economic and trade cooperation, we have prepared a picture exhibition as well, which will help you get a full picture of the Chinese enterprises in South Africa and the China-South Africa economic and trade cooperation. Thank the organizers.
President Xi Jinping has made three state visits to South Africa
South Africa is the only African country which President Xi Jinping has made three state visits to. Our two heads of state hold annual meetings twice, which has injected new impetus into the high-quality development of China-South African economic and trade cooperation, and brought tangible benefits to our two peoples.
Thanks to the personal efforts of our two heads of state, China-South Africa mutually beneficial cooperation has demonstrated a sound momentum of all-round and high-level rapid development in various fields.
Bilateral trade continues to expand. In 2018, the bilateral trade volume between China and South Africa reached $ 43.55 billion against the odds, accounting for a quarter of the total volume of China-Africa trade, registering a year-on-year increase of 11.18%, and 27 times that of the establishment of diplomatic relations between our two countries in 1998.
China has been South Africa’s largest trading partner for 10 consecutive years, and South Africa has maintained China’s largest trading partner in Africa for nine consecutive years.
China’s investment in South Africa has been steadily increased. As of 2018, the total volume of China’s investment and financing in South Africa has reached more than $25 billion, covering such fields as manufacturing, finance, mining, agriculture, ICT and commerce and creating over 400,000 jobs for the local people.
Cooperation on human resources training
Cooperation on human resources training enjoys broad prospects. Since 2015, China has trained more than 2,700 professionals in various fields for South Africa. This year, China hosted 14 bilateral training programs for South Africa, reaching a new historical record both in the number of programs and trainees. As of November this year, more than 580 South African applicants have traveled to China to participate in various professional training programs.
This year marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. Over the past seven decades, the Communist Party of China (CPC) has led and united the Chinese people of all ethnic groups to have not only achieved country prosperity, national rejuvenation and improved people’s well-being, but also made great contributions to the peace, stability and prosperity of the world. China has created two miracles of long-term political and social stability and 40 years of rapid economic growth in the history of human development.
1.4 billion people will be lifted out of poverty
In 1978, less than 3% of the people in mainland China were out of poverty, while in 2018, only less than 3% were in poverty. Up to now, 850 million Chinese people have been lifted out of poverty, contributing more than 70% of the global poverty alleviation.
More importantly, by the end of 2020, all of China’s 1.4 billion people will be lifted out of poverty with no one left behind. This is an unprecedented feat in human history! This is also a great feat of the CPC in addressing human rights issues.
Now China has become the world’s second largest economy, the largest manufacturer, the largest trader in goods and the largest holder of foreign exchange reserves. Since 2006, China has contributed more than 30% of world economic growth, exceeding the total of all developed countries, and has become the major driver and stabilizer for world economic growth.
SA’s comprehensive national strength
South Africa ranks first in Africa in terms of comprehensive national strength and boasts many advantages in geographical location, infrastructure, natural endowment and human resources. Due to historical and practical reasons, South Africa is now facing three major problems: namely, poverty, unemployment and inequity.
As good friends, good partners, and good brothers, China is full of confidence in South Africa’s economic and social transformation and development. China is willing to fully support South Africa in taking a development path that is in line with its national conditions, as well as its unremitting efforts to develop the economy, create jobs, and eradicate poverty.
In June this year, the Chinese government sent a powerful economic and trade delegation to Cape Town South Africa for business cooperation signing ceremony with their South African counterparts. 89 Chinese and South African enterprises signed 93 investment and trade agreements worth of nearly $ 2 billion.
In November, the Chinese government once again sent a economic and trade delegation of 80 major Chinese enterprises and business associations to participate in the Second South Africa Investment Conference, supporting South African government’s measures to attract foreign investment. The Chinese delegation is the only government delegation at this investment conference.
Today, we hold the job fair here to respond to the call of job creation by HE. President Cyril Ramaphosa, and the South African government with concrete actions, and provide South Africa’s outstanding young people with more opportunities to show their talents.
In the future, we will encourage more and more Chinese enterprises to invest in South Africa and create more jobs for South Africa. It is our sincere hope that the Chinese enterprises can become the major investor, taxpayer, employer and foreign exchange earner in South Africa, and make greater contributions to South Africa’s economic development and social stability!
China International Import Expo
Last month, the second China International Import Expo was successfully held in Shanghai. This is a major measure taken by the Chinese government to build an open world economy, and strive for win-win cooperation for common development with other countries in the world. It has won unanimous appreciation and support from the international community.
This year’s Expo attracted more than 3,000 companies and about 500,000 professional buyers from more than 150 countries and regions, with both the scale and quality exceeding the first Expo. The cumulative intent turnover reached $71.13 billion , an increase of 23% over the first Expo.
Chinese President Xi Jinping attended the Expo and proposed three initiatives to build an open world economy through cooperation and innovation for mutual benefits. President Xi Jinping reiterated that “China will open its door only wider to the world”.
He promised that “China will continue to open up its market, optimize its opening-up structure, improve the business environment, deepen multilateral and bilateral cooperation and advance the Belt and Road cooperation.
Unfortunately, facing the trend of economic globalization, the US, in order to make itself great again, trumpets “America First” and pursues protectionism, unilateralism and hegemonism to launch a global trade war and use domestic laws to undermine international rules, which has seriously undermined the momentum of world economic recovery.
I am glad to see that under the leadership of President Cyril Ramaphosa, South Africa is embracing a new era of “development and renewal”. China is ready to share the fruits of its development and huge market with South Africa, promote our cooperation, and support your efforts to become a locomotive and production base for Africa’s industrialization and modernization, and achieve win-win cooperation for common development so as to deliver more benefits to our two countries and two peoples.
Finally, I wish this event a complete success!
This speech was delivered by H.E. Ambassador Lin Songtian at the Chinese Enterprises Job Fair and China-South Africa Economic and Trade Achievements Exhibition, on December 10.
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