China ramps up investment in Africa in return for greater access to commodities

Sarah Spickernell
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Singapore's President Tony Tan Keng Yam Visits China
The Chinese President began his visit to South Africa on Tuesday (Source: Getty)

China and South Africa have entered into a series of business deals amounting to $6.5bn (£4.4bn), which will result in huge infrastructure projects taking place in South Africa.

Yesterday, 26 deals were signed between the nations, with one of the biggest single deals involving South Africa's national rail operator, which received $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.

Africa is not the only party to benefit from the deals, however - China will benefit by gaining greater access to the country's commodities, including oil.

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.

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