The KwaZulu-Natal government's high powered delegation will tomorrow begin an essential trade and investment mission to key cities in the People's Republic of China as part of its grand strategy to woo investors and showcase what the province can offer.
The five day mission to cities in Guangdong and Shanxi provinces will be led by KwaZulu-Natal Province's Leader of Government Business, Mr Sihle Zikalala and it comprises of Arts and Culture MEC, Ms Bongiwe Sithole-Moloi, CEO's of entities and senior officials from the provincial government and eThekwini Municipality.
They will have high level engagements with potential investors who have shown keen interest in setting up their operations in KwaZulu-Natal as well senior government decision makers.
An upbeat Zikalala described the trade and investment mission as crucial, adding that it would focus mainly on promoting new infrastructure, manufacturing, energy, tourism, education and culture.
"The message we are bringing to China is that KwaZulu-Natal is open for business and that it is as the ideal investment destination for its corporations. We will unpack the opportunities that our province has especially in our special economic zones. We strongly believe that our Chinese counterparts will assist us to achieve our goal of growing the manufacturing sector sothat we can build the economy and create the much-needed jobs," Mr Zikalala said.
The delegation would during the mission, also identify opportunities for KwaZulu-Natal companies to export their products to Chinese market as well as opening up opportunities the province's tourism sector, added Zikalala.
"There are a lot of opportunities for our companies in China. Gaungdong for example, has a population of 110 million people with Gaungzhou, Shenzhen, Dongguan and Foshan as the major cities. It is also the largest exporter of goods and it is also the largest importer."
Zikalala added that his delegation would use its trade and investment mission to strengthen its bilateral relations with the Chinese provinces to ensure that they translate into tangible initiatives. The Memorandum of Understanding between Gaungdong and KwaZulu-Natal focused on manufacturing, tourism, skills development and culture.
The leader of government business said KwaZulu-Natal government was encouraged by the strong relations that South Africa and China have.
The State Visit led by President Cyril Ramaphosa recently, South Africa and China entered into several agreements and signed a number of Memoranda of Understanding that pave the way for economic growth, Mr Zikalala said.
Ms Sithole-Moloi said her engagements would focus mainly on strengthening cultural diplomacy between KwaZulu-Natal and the Chinese provinces, cultural exchange programmes, festivals, sports and cultural tourism.
"We strongly believe that we will benefit handsomely as a province if we strengthen relations between the relevant entities in the arts and culture field. Mutual participation in each other's arts, music, film and other cultural activities will not only create opportunities for our people but it will also increase the number of Chinese tourists who visit our province," said Ms Sithole-Moloi
Issued by: KwaZulu-Natal Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs