China & South Africa enter business deals worth £4.4bn

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The agreements, being reported by City AM, are focussed mainly on improving infrastructure in the African country, while China will benefit by gaining greater access to the country’s commodities, including oil.

Yesterday, around 26 deals were signed between the nations, with one of the biggest single deals involving South Africa’s national rail operator receiving $2.5bn in investment.

South Africa’s state-owned power company will also receive $500m to help boost nuclear co-operation between the two nations, and China is said to be funding a car manufacturing plant in South Africa.

The news comes amid a four-day trip made by China’s President Xi Jingping to South Africa, during which the two countries discussed ways of increasing trade and investment.

China’s interest in South Africa as a business partner follows a 40 per cent decline in Chinese investment in Africa during the first half of the year.

However, the situation has transformed recently, with $930m worth of investments in the metal, energy and pharmaceutical sectors being signed before Xi Jingping even arrived on South Africa’s shores.