On January 31, 2024, Ambassador Chen Xiaodong and South African Minister of Finance Enoch Godongwana jointly attended the launch event for Absa Group’s China Office and delivered addresses.
Ambassador Chen congratulated Absa Group on the establishment of its office in Beijing. He believed this venture demonstrates the importance the Group attaches to the Chinese market and its confidence in investing in China, and speaks volumes to the sustained rapid development of China-South Africa relations and the deepening of the bilateral financial cooperation in recent years. China greatly values financial cooperation with South Africa. During President Xi Jinping’s visit to South Africa in August last year, the two Presidents reached important consensus on issues like strengthening bilateral financial cooperation.
Ambassador Chen said the year 2024 is the first year after China-South Africa relations entered the Golden Era. It is a year for both countries to implement the important consensus of the two Presidents. This year, a new Forum on China-Africa Cooperation meeting will be held in Beijing. South African companies are most welcome to use the opportunity to go to China, to become dedicated participants in China’s big market, facilitators of China’s business environment, contributors to China-South Africa economic and trade cooperation, and communicators to the world about China’s opening-up policy, thus contributing more Golden Fruits to the Golden Era.
In his speech, Minister Godongwana expressed his warm congratulations on the establishment of the Absa office in Beijing. He said this is an important step for Absa to go global, and points to the future strategic direction for Africa’s development. It is a concrete example of the fruitful achievements made over the past 25 years since South Africa and China established diplomatic relations, and it implements the important consensus of the two Presidents on advancing bilateral economic and trade cooperation. Minister Godongwana stressed the importance the South African government attaches to cooperation with China, and believed China’s role as the world’s second largest economy cannot be ignored. South Africa will continue to strengthen exchanges and cooperation with China, encourage capable South African enterprises to explore the Chinese market, and welcome Chinese companies to invest in South Africa. He believed the bilateral cooperation will bring more mutual benefits for the two countries, and inject new vitality into the development of Africa and China.
Absa CEO Mr Arrie Rautenbach expressed his deep thanks to the regulatory authorities in China for the support in setting up the Group’s office in Beijing, which he believed will drive more Chinese trade and investment into Africa. China is recognised as a leading player in the global economy, and Africa is poised to play an increasingly influential role in global trade. There is enormous potential for further collaboration and mutual benefit between the two regions. Absa will use its expertise to foster stronger economic and social ties between Africa and China.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the Republic of South Africa.