The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and Gold Yard International Exchange Service have signed an agreement to contribute to boosting industrial development on the African continent.
Gold Yard represents the various provincial bureau of China State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs.
Signed by CSIR CEO Dr Thulani Dlamini and Gold Yard GM Anquan Chi last week, the memorandum of understanding (MoU) will enable China and South Africa to enjoy strategic relations in science, technology and innovation, and builds on the CSIR’s past work with other Chinese institutions in the areas of energy storage and artificial intelligence.
Collaborative activities, which are aimed at accelerating research capacity and industrial development in Africa, include, but are not limited to, key initiatives in the fields of health, with a focus on nutrition and affordable, novel treatments; and the natural environment, as well as where the emphasis is on the wise use of resources.
Other fields include energy, with a focus on renewable and alternative energy, as well as defence and security, with contributions to the readiness and capability of securing a safe future.
As part of the agreement, the CSIR will share its technologies, which are suitable for the Chinese markets, for industrialisation and commercialisation in China.
In return, Gold Yard will provide the CSIR with some Chinese research projects for the organisation to conduct research and development in South Africa to suit the market and to adopt the local standard.
Further, the partnership aims to improve the competitiveness of industry from large multinational to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), with a particular focus on SMEs in critical economic sectors.
Speaking at the signing event, held last week, Dlamini welcomed the agreement, noting that it was significant for South Africa and China to exchange ideas and technologies to improve the competitiveness of the two countries’ industries.
“This is a very important strategic development to strengthen the relationship between the two countries. This partnership will lead to mutual benefit for South Africa and China through the exchange of ideas and technologies. The hard work starts now in terms of realising the ambitions and the intentions set out in the MoU,” he said.
Chi emphasised the need to strengthen relations further, and welcomed the partnership, adding that it is key for the countries to enhance their research and innovation capabilities.
“China and South Africa have many things in common; we are all striving for economic development to improve our people’s lives. South Africa has a number of advanced technologies and talent.
“We would like to introduce the good technologies developed by the CSIR for commercialisation and industrialisation in China, in order to boost the South African economy,” he said.