China signs US$930m in business deals prior to Premier Xi’s visit

President Xi Jinping will announce new economic aid for the continent at a China-Africa summit in Johannesburg during his trip. Photo: Xinhua

China boosted its economic ties with Africa yesterday by signing 23 business deals totalling US$930 million, while a fresh round of economic aid is being planned before President Xi Jinping starts his visit to the continent on Tuesday.

Mainland companies, including Sinosteel Corp, Sinochem Group and China Chengtong, agreed contracts with 50 South Africa firms involved in industries including steel, energy, medicine, fruits, wine and textiles, at a signing ceremony in Johannesburg, Xinhua reported.

Beijing has sought to address its excessive domestic capacity by relocating some businesses overseas, including Africa, as it steers its economy towards an advanced manufacturing and services sector.

Mainland business representatives visited export processing and manufacturing companies after ceremony, with South African firms keen to increase exports of high value-added products to China, Xinhua said.

Xi will announce new economic aid for the continent at a China-Africa summit in Johannesburg during his trip.The aid was likely to cover the industrialisation of African nations, agriculture and food safety, in addition to investment in infrastructure, Qian Keming, China’s Vice-Minister of Commerce, said last week.