China will today formally announce its largest investment in South Africa for two years, entrenching its position as the resource-rich continent’s most important economic and commercial partner.
The China Africa Development Fund and the Jidong Development Group will help build a new cement plant worth at least R1.5bn ($200m), the Financial Times has learned.
英国《金融时报》获悉，中非发展基金(China Africa Development Fund)和冀东发展集团(Jidong Development Group)将帮助南非建造一个至少价值15亿兰特（合2亿美元）的水泥厂。
The announcement lays the ground for the planned August visit to Beijing by Jacob Zuma, South African president, who has made deepening economic and political ties with China a key foreign policy priority.
China emerged as South Africa’s largest trading partner last year, partly due to a large rise in iron ore exports, mirroring a trend in other countries on the continent, which have been courted by Beijing for their resources and growing markets.
The latest agreement will see the two Chinese entities partnering Continental Cement, a local enterprise, and Women Investment Portfolio Holdings, a South African company dedicated to empowering black women. They will build the new plant in Gauteng province, outside Johannesburg.
根据最新协议，两家中国机构将与南非当地企业大陆水泥(Continental Cement)和“妇女投资组合控股”(Women Investment Portfolio Holdings)的合作，在约翰内斯堡周边的豪登(Gauteng)地区建造新工厂。“妇女投资组合控股”是南非一家致力于赋权黑人妇女的企业。
The new plant is aimed at making up a recent shortfall of domestic building products, such as cement, much of it caused by the huge infrastructure programme from construction for the football World Cup.
Congested roads and railways make it relatively costly for South Africa to import cement, so investment in local production facilities is more attractive.
Growing economic ties with China and other big emerging markets have paved the way for closer political ties, especially since Mr Zuma took from the sceptical former president Thabo Mbeki last May.
A $5.5bn investment by the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China in South Africa’s Standard Bank agreed in October 2007 remains by far the largest Chinese investment in Africa to date, accounting for about a quarter of the funds Beijing dedicated to the continent.
Much of that investment has concentrated on roads, power plants and other infrastructure, but analysts say a growing number of Chinese companies are beginning to buy building and other materials locally. They are also eyeing Africa’s fast-growing consumer markets.
For example, FAW, a Chinese carmaker, last month announced a $100m investment in South Africa. “Chinese companies are coming to the party,” said Martyn Davies, of Frontier Advisory Services, a Johannesburg-based consultancy.
例如，中国汽车制造商一汽(FAW)上月宣布在南非投资1亿美元。约翰内斯堡咨询公司Frontier Advisory Services的马丁•戴维斯(Martyn Davies)表示：“中国公司来参加派对了。”
Mr Davies predicted the China African Development Fund will probably fund much of this investment. CADF, which eventually expects to have $5bn available, established a South African office last March. “They have a lot more deals in the pipeline,” he said.