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IASZNU’s Research into South Africa
Post Time: 07/08/2018


Dr. Liu Zhaotie, the executive director of the Center for South African Studies of the Institute of African Studies at Zhejiang Normal University (IASZNU), published an article on IASZNU’s official WeChat account titled “Xi’s Visit to Africa Accelerates the Construction of China-Africa Community with a Shared Future.”

    The article states that Chinese President Xi’s visit to Africa will bring significant transformation to many African countries. This visit focused on four aspects of cooperation: trade, investment, infrastructure, and national defense. Currently, African countries are going through a difficult economic revival, and assistance from a powerful partner like China would greatly benefit their development. The four new focuses have attracted a great deal of attention in Africa.

Additionally, in order to gain a better knowledge of South Africa’s investment environment, and provide information and suggestions to Chinese enterprises in South Africa, Dr. Liu and Dr. Zhang Qiaowen from the College of Economics and Management at Zhejiang Normal University performed research on the major special economic zones in South Africa and the development of the Chinese enterprises within the zones.

The research team drove over 4000 kilometers in South Africa, crossing five provinces, and visited three special economic zones: Atlantis, the Coega Industrial Development Zone (Coega), and Dube Trade Port.

The research results show that these special economic zones have different policies for different overseas enterprises, such as corporate income tax reduction policy, tariff reduction policy, preferential conditions for purchasing and renting real estate, and assurance of water supply and electricity. There are also individual service contracts for the companies.

    Wang Xiaofeng, a market analyst for Coega, mentioned that Coega would send workers from management departments to visit developing economic areas in China and get professional training. They will learn from the successful experiences and developing models there and bring them back to South Africa. At present, some big car manufacturers like FAW Car Co., Ltd. and BAIC Group have set up branches in Coega.

The research team also visited some of the Chinese enterprises in the special economic zones and interviewed them about the companies’ history, difficulties they encountered, and their successes. Working at the department of human resources of Hisense Co., Ltd. in Atlantis Special Economic Zone, Tang Fei stated that the success of Hisense in South Africa is closely related to its policies for local employees. There are 465 people working at Hisense, and 430 of them are local South Africans, which makes up 92% of the total. Hisense has successfully created a stable and positive working environment for its employees by providing professional training, individual cultivation, and cross-cultural communication opportunities. In this way, the company has successfully avoided unnecessary labor disputes.The common way of doing international research is to read papers online and write articles, but this time the research team actually went to South Africa and did on-site research by observation and experience, which opens up a new way of doing African studies. The findings will be included in the Report on China-Africa Capacity Cooperation in 2018, and relevant articles will be published to provide references to Chinese enterprises that are interested in investing in South Africa. (Translated by Sun Yin, edited by Kendra Fiddler)

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