Patel completes working visit to China

Patel completes working visit to China

Patel completes working visit to China

Trade, Industry and Competition Minister Ebrahim Patel and a high-level delegation have completed a four-day working visit to Shanghai, Nanjing and Beijing to meet with government officials, investors and a number of Chinese electric vehicles and battery manufacturers.
Patel was hosted by his Chinese counterpart, Wang Wentao, the Chinese Minister of Commerce, at a bilateral meeting and working dinner during the visit.
The discussion reviewed trade relations and considered steps taken to implement agreements signed during President Xi Jinping’s State Visit in August 2023. New opportunities were also identified to strengthen economic ties. The leaders also discussed a possible Memorandum of Understanding on the automotive industry.
During his visit, Patel held bilateral meetings with eight Chinese companies, met six South African companies operating in China and undertook two factory site visits.
The SA delegation met with six potential Chinese investors in the electric vehicle value chain. Four are vehicle manufacturers, namely the Shanghai Automotive Industrial Corporation (SAIC), BYD Auto Manufacturers (the world’s largest electric vehicle producer), Foton Group and Beijing Automotive Industrial Group (BAIC).
The meetings were held with two battery producers: CATL – the world’s largest battery producer, and Gotion Hi-Tech International, who have a partnership with Volkswagen.
“The investors we met were very interested in the market particularly with commencement of trade by South Africa under the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (the AfCFTA).
“I found them knowledgeable about local market conditions and keen to explore investment partnerships. This builds on positive sentiment we found in September last year in New York among American investors too,” Patel said.
China is the world’s leading producer of electric vehicles (EVs) and batteries. The visit provided Patel with an opportunity to present the South African automotive value proposition and government policy support to companies looking to invest in the South African automotive industry, particularly in EV manufacturing.
The SA automotive industry is supported by stable long-term policies, such as the South African Automotive Master Plan (SAAM) 2035 and a government support package for capital investment, and vehicle and component production.
The South African government released the Electric Vehicle White Paper in December last year. The paper outlines the country’s approach to supporting the transition to zero-emission vehicle production for the export and domestic market.
As part of the support for the transition, government has improved the automotive industry incentive package for electric vehicle production in South Africa. This includes increased investment support through a recently-announced tax measure.
The support from government ensures South Africa can compete in attracting vital investment into the industry that will facilitate the transition of this well-established sector to new energy vehicles. Access to export markets makes South Africa a more attractive investment destination.
Minister Patel also met investors in the steel and energy sectors and discussed their plans for the SA market.
The Minister was accompanied by senior officials from the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) and the dtic.
China is currently South Africa’s largest trading partner, with bilateral trade estimated at $34 billion (R556 billion) in 2022. – SAnews.gov.za

Edwin
Fri, 03/08/2024 – 09:08

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