|Jia Qinglin (C Back), chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, attends the signing ceremony of a package of deals on Chinese enterprises' purchasing products worth more than 300 million U.S. dollars from South Africa, in Pretoria, South Africa, March 31, 2010. (Xinhua/Li Tao)|
PRETORIA, March 31 (Xinhua) -- China on Wednesday signed a package of deals, purchasing products worth more than 300 million U.S. dollars from South Africa.
The deals, the biggest-ever single purchase China made from South Africa, coincided with top Chinese political advisor Jia Qinglin's official goodwill visit to South Africa from March 28 to April 1.
Jia, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), the country's top advisory body, witnessed the signing ceremony on the sidelines of a China-South Africa Economic and Trade Forum in Pretoria.
The deals, involving nearly 30 corporations in the two countries, covered fishmeal, mohair, wool, bulk wine, copper, wood pulp, chrome ore and others.
"The signing of the enormous deal showed the cooperation initiative of businesses of the two countries," Jia said. More than 100 Chinese entrepreneurs came to South Africa on the purchase mission.
Chinahas become South Africa's biggest trade partner and exporter as bilateral trade volume hit a historic high of more than 16 billion U.S. dollars in 2009, which was over ten times than that in 1998 when the two countries forged diplomatic ties.
South Africais China's second largest trade partner in Africa with bilateral trade volume accounting for nearly 20 percent of China's trade with the African continent, according to Chinese Customs.
By the end of 2009, South Africa's investment in China totalled 546 million U.S. dollars while China's investment in South Africa amounted to 950 million U.S. dollars, Jia said.
China's investment has expanded from the traditional industries of textile, garment and light industrial products to energy, mineral, machinery, household electrical appliances and construction materials.
"Businesses in both countries should increase exchanges, expand areas of cooperation, boost substantive cooperation," Jia told entrepreneurs.
South Africawas the last leg of Jia's ten-day African tour which already took him to Cameroon and Namibia. Jia had met with South African President Jacob Zuma and held talks with Mninwa Mahlangu, chairman of the National Council of Provinces of South Africa.
Jia will leave Pretoria Thursday morning to conclude his African trip.