Durban - South Africa has reached a deal valued at several
billion dollars to build and repair ships at its Richards Bay port with China's
Chery Holdings, affiliated with the automaker, according to documents obtained
by Reuters on Wednesday.
The final terms of the deal were being worked out at a
meeting of the leaders of the Brics emerging market powers in the South African
coastal city of Durban, a senior South African government official said.
Other partners include South Africa's Industrial Development
Corporation, the China Development Bank, the China Africa Development Fund and
The deal is aimed at "developing a completely new
shipbuilding and repair facility", the documents said.
South Africa has been pushing to expand the port, which is a
major export point for coal, to attract new industry and create jobs in an
economy that has seen its unemployment rate stuck at around 25% for years.
A day earlier, the China Development Bank agreed to lend
South African state rail freight group Transnet up to $5bn to revamp ageing
rail lines, used to carry commodities such as coal and iron ore, a source close
to the deal said.
China is South Africa's biggest bilateral trade partner and
imports massive quantities of commodities from South Africa.
The Brics countries - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South
Africa - are looking to grow African economies and set up a joint development
bank at their summit, which ends on Wednesday.
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