Johannesburg - South African Airways (SAA) will now fly directly
to Beijing, China, the presidency said on Friday.
"In this regard, the two governments will work together
expeditiously to resolve all outstanding issues including the allocation of
more favourable landing and take-off time slots to the SAA," the presidency
said in a statement.
The agreement follows an official visit by Deputy President
Kgalema Motlanthe to China where he held talks with his counterpart Xi Jinping.
The discussions were aimed at furthering and consolidating
political and economic ties.
South Africa and China signed a comprehensive strategic
partnership in 2010.
To achieve shared sustainable economic growth, the two
countries agreed to work together to promote balanced and stable trade and
investment between them.
"The government of China undertook to facilitate more
imports from South Africa, especially high value added products," said the
These goods included agricultural products such as wines,
cereals, canned fruit and beef; chemicals (butanol); plastics (polypropylene);
steel; aluminium (alloys and coils); automotive (tooling products, shock
absorbers and filters); mining safety equipment and manufacturing and wood
China gave an undertaking to facilitate the entry of these
products to the vast Chinese market in keeping with the commitment made in
terms of the partnership agreement.
The countries also signed a memorandum of understanding on
cooperation in the field of geology and mineral resources, and a financial
cooperation agreement between the Development Bank of South Africa and the
Chinese Development Bank.
Cooperation on strategic economic infrastructure projects in
the transport and energy sectors on the African continent were discussed, as
well as China increasing investment on vocational training centres in South
Africa and scholarship allocation for South African students to study in China.
Motlanthe concluded deliberations with a courtesy visit to
President Hu Jintao.
He is expected to arrive back in South Africa on Saturday.