Facebook / Sihle Zikalala
Facebook / Sihle Zikalala
A delegation from KwaZulu-Natal will on Monday embark on a trade and investment mission to key cities in China as part of the province’s strategy to woo investors and showcase what the province has on offer.
“The message we are bringing to China is that KwaZulu-Natal is open for business and that it is the ideal investment destination for its corporations,” MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs Sihle Zikalala said in a statement on Sunday.
The MEC said the delegation will unpack the opportunities the province has to offer, particularly in the province’s special economic zones.
“We strongly believe that our Chinese counterparts will assist us to achieve our goal of growing the manufacturing sector so that we can build the economy and create much-needed jobs,” Zikalala said.
The MEC said the crucial trade and investment mission would focus mainly on promoting new infrastructure, manufacturing, energy, tourism, education and culture.
The five-day mission to cities in Guangdong and Shanxi provinces will be led by Zikalala and comprises of MEC for Arts and Culture Bongiwe Sithole-Moloi, CEOs of entities and senior officials from the provincial government as well as the eThekwini Municipality.
The delegation will during the mission identify opportunities for KwaZulu-Natal companies to export their products to the Chinese market as well as opportunities for the province’s tourism sector.
“There are a lot of opportunities for our companies in China. Guangdong has a population of 110 million people with Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Dongguan and Foshan as the major cities. It is also the largest exporter of goods and it is also the largest importer,” Zikalala said.
The delegation will also use the trade and investment mission to strengthen bilateral relations with the Chinese provinces.
Zikala said the recent State Visit to China led by President Cyril Ramaphosa paved the way for economic growth, with several agreements and a number of Memoranda of Understanding having been signed.
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,” she said.