Honourable Buyelwa Sonjica – South Africa Minister of Minerals & Energy – 10th China Mining Conference, Beijing, China

Honourable Buyelwa Sonjica – South African Minister of Minerals & Energy10 November 2008

Programme director,
Minister of Land and Resources of the People’s Republic of China, Minister Xu Shaoshi,
Captains of the mining industry from South Africa, People’s Republic of China and elsewhere in the world,
Distinguished guests,
Ladies and gentlemen,

It is a great honour for me to extend a warm welcome to you this morning to the South African Mining Seminar here in China. As South Africa celebrates the 10th successive year of diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China, depicting the political will of the respective countries to co-operate on various areas on common interest, we deemed it appropriate to assemble a multi-stakeholder platform, with particular emphasis on reciprocal investment prospects between the two countries.

The seminar is intended to focus on existing opportunities for Chinese and other foreign companies here present to partner with South African companies and communities in the mining industry. Notwithstanding the current financial challenge, which we project will have a limited shelf life, I believe that the relationships envisaged between our respective companies are intended for long-term periods.

One of the oldest Chinese proverbs has never been more applicable than today, namely: “A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step”. We all should remember that when former President Mandela announced South Africa’s intention to recognise the People’s Republic of China ten years ago, that was indeed a small step. In this context I believe South Africa’s journey with the People’s Republic of China has progressed remarkably towards its intended objective of increasing bi-national trade.

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