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Uphold the Value of Friendship, Justice and Shared Interest Is the Common Pursuit of the Overseas Chinese Enterprises

Your Excellency Dr. Miriam Altman, Commissioner of National Planning Commission,

Your Excellency Amb. Manelisi Genge, Chief Director of DIRCO,

Honorable Chair of the SACETA, Mr Zhang Jinguo,

Honorable Diplomatic Envoys and Diplomats,

Distinguished South African and Chinese entrepreneurs,

Media friends,

Ladies, Gentlemen,

Good afternoon!

It is my great pleasure to witness the official release of the Corporate Social Responsibility Report of Chinese Enterprises in South Africa hosted by the SACETA. Firstly, on behalf of the Chinese Embassy in SA, I would like to express my great appreciation and extend warmest congratulations to the organizer and the entrepreneurs from both SA and China who have been devoting to the friendship and mutually beneficial cooperation between our two countries.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the diplomatic relationship between China and SA. In the past 20 years, through our joint efforts, China-SA relationship has leapfrogged to comprehensive strategic partnership. Our fruitful and win-win cooperation is supported by four major platforms, namely the FOCAC, BRICS, Belt and Road Initiative and South-South Cooperation, which brought real benefits to the peoples of both countries. China has been the biggest trade partner of SA for 9 consecutive years, and SA has been China’s biggest trade partner in Africa and the most important investment and tourism destination for 8 consecutive years.

China-SA bilateral trade volume reached 39.17 billion US dollars in 2017, a year-on-year increase of 11.7%, accounting for about a quarter of the total trade volume between China and Africa. In the first three quarters of this year, the trade volume between China and SA reached 33.2 billion USD, a year-on-year increase of 16.6%. South Africa hosts the biggest amount of Chinese investments in Africa, with an accumulated investment of over 25 billion USD. The cooperation in the financial sector is fruitful, the Construction Bank of China, Bank of China, ICBC, China Development Bank and CAD Fund have carried out businesses or established offices in SA, and the Bank of Communications is preparing to open its SA Branch. The first Renminbi Clearing Bank in Africa is established in SA. Renminbi has become a foreign reserve currency of SA, and the first offshore Renminbi bond has been issued in SA.

In July and September this year respectively, President Xi Jinping and President Ramaphosa successfully exchanged their state visits. The two countries joined hands together to successfully host the BRICS Johannesburg Summit and the FOCAC Beijing Summit, and drew new plans for China-SA cooperation, China-Africa cooperation for common development. Now we can say China-SA Cooperation is embracing new historical opportunities.

SA has the strongest overall strength among African countries. It enjoys rich resources, superb location and strong foundation and conditions for development. More importantly, President Ramaphosa is leading the SA Government and people to attract investors, grow economy, create jobs and improve people’s livelihood. China not only has certain advantages in capital, technology, market, enterprises, and experiences of successful development, but more importantly, China has the strong political commitment to supporting SA in its pursuit of social and economic transformation.

The Chinese government on one hand encourages more enterprises to SA for their investment and transfer our technology, localize our business, add value to the local products and create local jobs; on the other hand, China tries our best to open huge markets with 1.4 billion population to SA. We are also ready to encourage more Chinese tourists to SA when you are ready. China is ready to work together with SA to develop into a production base to support the African industrialization and modernization, and become a pilot country in connecting Belt and Road initiative with Africa.

We are pleased to see that the ANC government led by President Ramaphosa is addressing the three major challenges that are affecting foreign investments and doing business in SA, namely safety and security, policy stability and government efficiency.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Chinese enterprises not only benefit from the development of China-SA relationship,but also are the key builders and contributors to it. At present, Chinese investments and enterprises have created over 400,000 local jobs, and contributed large amount of taxes. Chinese telecommunication enterprises such as Huawei, China Telecom and ZTE have supported the upgrade of African telecommunication infrastructure, largely decreasing communication costs for local people, bringing real benefits of science and technology innovation and market competition to African people, and laying a significant foundation for African countries in embracing the forth industrial revolution. The Hisense Home Appliances Park built by Hisense in SA has driven the local social and economic development. The first phase of the project directly created 700 local jobs, and indirectly created over 3000 local jobs with about 60 Chinese technicians and managers. Now they are ready to invest and expand their project, which will create more job opportunities to the local people. The Memba Cement project led by Jinyu Jidong Cement Group Co. is a leading and green cement project in Africa that it sets the highest standard of energy saving and environmental protection in the cement industry in SA.

We are very pleased to see that the Chinese enterprises in SA are actively taking part in the social and economic development in SA. They comply with the BEE regulations, pay attention to localization, skill transfer and staff training, strictly observe rules of laws of SA, live in harmony with the local people, fulfill their social responsibilities, participate in local education, medical and social charity activities, paying back to the local society and committing to common development.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Chinese enterprises in SA for their contribution to the development of our bilateral relations. I would also like to thank SACETA, a non-profit organization founded by the Chinese enterprises in SA on a voluntary basis, for their coordinating and collaborating roles that it plays in promoting mutually beneficial trade and economic cooperation, strengthening communications with SA government agencies, and enhancing self-education and self-regulation among the Chinese enterprises.

The Corporate Social Responsibility Report of Chinese Enterprises in SA that released today is a showcase of how the Chinese enterprises are practicing the right approach and upholding the common value of friendship, justice and shared interests and the concepts of innovation, coordination, green, open and shared development put forward by President Xi Jinping. It demonstrates the achievement made by the Chinese enterprises in promoting economic growth, serving the society and reserving the environment. It also demonstrates the unique contributions made by the Chinese enterprises in enhancing SA social economic growth and China-SA relations.

I am here today, attending this important event, to give thumbs up to the Chinese enterprises for taking their social responsibilities. I would also like to take the opportunity to show my sincere appreciation to everyone of you!

Ladies, Gentlemen,

Looking forward, I am full of confidence in deepening our mutually beneficial cooperation for win-win development. It is my sincere hope that the Chinese enterprises in SA will seize the new opportunity and make greater contribution.

First, you must always remain an equal and mutually beneficial and win-win partners. I hope the Chinese enterprises shall seize the emerging opportunities, taking full advantages of China-SA mutual political trust and mutual complements in economy, to take part in the social and economic transformation of SA, so as to deepen our cooperation in priority areas, such as infrastructure, human resource development, processing and manufacturing, agriculture, tourism, oceanic economy, digital economy, sharing economy, science research and innovation, financial sector and people to people exchanges, and support SA as a production base to drive the African industrialization and modernization.

Second, you must always conduct business following the laws and regulations, and build up the new image of Chinese enterprises in SA. All the Chinese enterprises in SA should strictly abide by the laws and regulations of SA as well as the relevant Chinese laws in their overseas trade and economic cooperation, conscientiously comply with the laws in operation, observe tax laws, and conduct businesses in a honorable way. Any involvement in or engagement of illegal or unlawful activities is strictly prohibited.

Third, you must firmly uphold the common value of friendship, justice and shared interests, and conscientiously fulfill your social responsibilities. You shall manage a balance well between economic benefit and social benefit, share the development opportunities with the local community, pay attention to localization and enhance skill transfer and staff training. You are also expected to continue your fulfillment of social responsibilities by taking part in education, medical and health as well as other social charity activities, protecting employees’ rights according to the laws, contributing to community development, paying attention to environmental protection, and bringing benefit to the local people.

Fourth, you must improve safety and security management mechanism to ensure safety of the enterprises and all the employees, conscientiously safeguard the macro-environment of mutual benefit and win-win cooperation. Safe production, national interest and employee safety must be treated as top priorities. you need to set up an accountability system to be carried through the whole process of production and operation. The person in charge of each enterprise must personally supervise the safety issue, keeping on completing the mechanism for safety precaution and emergency plan to prevent any accident.

Thank you.

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