Western governments and companies would be wise to increase their investments in SA as China moves fast to secure markets in Africa’s most sophisticated economy. This is according to Deputy Minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Obed Bapela, who was speaking on Friday on the sidelines of a China-Africa industrial co-operation forum held in Pretoria. China’s ambassador to SA, Lin Songtian, says the Asian giant has become Africa’s most reliable development partner, investing $100bn in roads, railways, ports, bridges, power plants and schools in 2017. In 2017 bilateral trade between SA and China amounted to more than R318bn, making China the country’s largest single trading partner. The forum came as China is deepening its involvement in Africa’s economic development, as part of the country’s global One Belt One Road initiative to re-establish Silk Road trade routes by land and sea.

Lin said Africa needed to implement a comprehensive industrial strategy that...

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