With a view to promoting the economic and trade relationship between China and the continent,the South Africa China Economy and Trade Association (SACETA) recently spoke to Africa Oil & Power on China’s active presence Africa and its expectations for 2021.
With more than 160-member companies, SACETA has invested approximately $14 billion in South Africa, creating an estimated 100,000 jobs through its involvement across multiple sectors in the country. According to Wenan Wang, Chair of SACETA, South Africa’s energy sector is of particular interest to China, in which the establishment of SACETA’s energy committee – with over 20-member companies – has created a diverse range of opportunities. Throughout the past nine years, China has been an active investor in the sector, with activities in the upstream, downstream, engineering, construction, installation and manufacturing sectors.
Additionally, Wang described the potential of the South African Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) to drive further Chinese and global participation by resolving power shortages that have afflicted the country for over a decade. Wang explained that SACETA has focused previously on power transmission and distribution, with active projects in 25 countries throughout the continent, but has a growing interest in power generation. According to Wang, SACETA has specific geopolitical criteria that determine interest in and feasibility of a particular project, namely: political stability, regulatory environment, and most importantly, market establishment.
The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted the energy sector, leaving companies vulnerable to reduced government revenues and volatile power demand. However, Wang is optimistic that 2021 will present substantial opportunities for growth and recovery – one of which is the AOP 2021 Conference & Exhibition, with SACETA serving as a key strategic partner. According to Wang, the event will enable foreign and local investors and companies to unite, overcome energy challenges and ensure an effective post-COVID-19 recovery.
Watch the interview below: