By Mamela Gowa
Buffalo City Metro mayor Xola Pakati will tonight officially sign an agreement with China’s Jinhua municipality to create hundreds of jobs in the manufacturing sector.
It is all systems go for the much- anticipated reciprocal visit to be made by a Chinese delegation to the city.
The visit comes after Pakati and his delegation visited China last month to negotiate lucrative deals with the country in an effort to bring jobs to the city.
BCM spokesman Samkelo Ngwenya said yesterday that the visit was intended to invest in the automotive, information technology, and clothing and textile sectors.
Pakati yesterday welcomed the Consulate-General of the People’s Republic of China Yong Kang at the East London City Hall in preparation for the signing of the memorandum of understanding (MoU) between BCM and Jinhua.
The delegation from Jinhua arrive today and an official signing ceremony will take place at the East London International Convention Centre from 7pm.
Tomorrow morning, Pakati is scheduled to lead the Chinese delegation on a visit to the East London Industrial Zone (ELIDZ), earmarked to house some of the manufacturing to be done in the city.
“The final negotiations will take place during the day tomorrow – we have not signed anything about the location of the production deals.
“So far there is a draft agreement. Our intention is to revitalise the factories in Fort Jackson as we are looking at the proximity of where people live but it will depend on what the investor needs,” Pakati told the Dispatch yesterday.
Ngwenya said BCM and Jinhua had a 16-year relationship.
“People often wonder what international trips and partnerships are for … seeking better opportunities to improve the livelihood of our people and reposition the city as a desirable destination for investors.”