Home > Exchanges between China & South Africa and Africa
Message from Chair of the African Union and President of the Republic of South Africa Cyril Ramaphosa on the occasion of the Opening Ceremony of the Third China International Import Expo
2020/11/04

Your Excellency President Xi Jinping, President of the People's Republic of China,

Your Excellencies, Chairpersons of the Regional Economic Communities of Africa,

Honourable Heads of State and Government,

Honourable Ministers,

Your Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Allow me to begin by conveying my appreciation to President Xi Jinping and to the People's Republic of China for ensuring that this Third China International Import Expo takes place despite the challenging circumstances in which the world finds itself.

As we embark on the difficult task of economic recovery in the wake of COVID-19, it is more necessary than ever to promote global investment and trade.

This is the largest import exhibition in the world.

It is an opportunity for companies from around the world to connect with the Chinese market, and for Chinese companies to forge ties with foreign companies.

The number of international companies participating this year is higher than in previous years, further conveying China's commitment to inclusive globalisation.

For the African continent, this could not have come at a better time.

We are just two months away from the first trading date of the African Continental Free Trade Area.

This Free Trade area will be the largest in the world. It will boost regional trade, reconfigure continental supply chains and spur economic growth across the continent.

As much as its focus is on inter-continental trade, China is a longstanding and valued trade partner. It is therefore my hope that at next year's Expo we will see even greater numbers of African companies participating.

South Africa has been a regular participant since the very first Expo in 2018.

We have been ably represented by our established companies and export councils from a number of sectors, such as agro-processing, chemicals, infrastructure and ICT.

I have no doubt Chinese companies and investors will find there is much South Africa has to offer in terms of diverse value-added products, goods and services.

Your Excellency, on behalf of the African Union member countries I want to thank you for China's assistance during the pandemic through the provision of medical equipment and supplies, and for pledging debt suspensions to 77 developing countries.

The extraordinary China-Africa Summit on Solidarity against Covid-19 was a further testament to China's commitment to Africa.

Just as we stand united in the face of the global health threat, so too must we stand and act as one to reverse the negative economic impact of COVID-19.

We must continue to be decisive and proactive in our response to the pandemic and prevent any further outbreaks.

Sino-Africa solidarity and multilateral cooperation is key if we are to overcome not only COVID-19 but any other challenges we face both now and in the future.

I wish all the participants in this Third China International Import Expo a successful outcome.

We are paving the way to a future of recovery, reconstruction and shared prosperity.

May our bonds of solidarity grow stronger. May the common aspirations of our people unite us in pursuit of a better Africa, a better China and a better world.

I thank you.

Suggest To A Friend:   
Print