JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – The trading arm of diversified Chinese mining house China Nonferrous Metal Mining (CNMC) officially opened an office in Johannesburg on Friday – a move that the company believes will deepen trade ties between Africa and China.
CNMC International Trade South Africa is a subsidiary of CNMC International Trade (CNIT), which trades in a range of products and services.
CNIT South Africa would focus on bulk mineral and metal commodity trade opportunities, as well as engineering consultancy and contractor work, logistics services and the supply of mechanical and electrical equipment and plants.
CNMC president Li Xiaoying said that CNIT South Africa aimed to invest in a global supply network, integrating mining and mineral resources development, mining engineering and construction, besides others, while enabling CNMC to participate in international economic cooperation and competition.
Speaking at the official opening ceremony, in Sandton, she encouraged the new South African unit to strengthen local and international trade exchange and cooperation.
Consul General of the People's Republic of China Li Jiangning said that South Africa had become China’s biggest trading partner on the African continent and continued to attract Chinese investment.
Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies, who led a 68-company-strong delegation to the South African Expos 2012, in China, earlier in the week, has described the relationship as increasingly important.
China, he said, has been South Africa’s leading trading partner both as an export destination and as a source of imports since 2008.
Bilateral trade between the two emerging economies reached $45.4-billion last year, up 77% from the prior year. South African exports to China jumped 150%, accounting for $32-billion of the trade.
South Africa accounted for 25% of Chinese exports to Africa and the source of 38% of Chinese imports from the continent, Department of Trade and Industry director-general Lionel October said earlier in the week.
He added that Chinese companies should take advantage of opportunities presented by recent initiatives such as the Tripartite Free Area and continue to invest in South Africa.
CNIT South Africa GM Gao Xiang said that South Africa offered the company advantageous geographic and marketing opportunities.
Xiang and CNMC executive director and CNIT South Africa vice GM Chen Jiang would be based in Johannesburg, with two other Chinese nationals. As the company expands, the group would hire local employees.