The Western Cape has emerged as a leading business destination for major Chinese firms, with a major electronics manufacturer reporting increased productivity and sales at its plant in the province.
Hisense, which set up its manufacturing plant in Atlantis in 2013, is one of the world’s biggest manufacturers of white goods and electronics. Around 700 people are employed at the plant.
Alan Winde, Minister of Economic Opportunities, said new figures from Hisense showed that productivity at its Western Cape plant was sky-rocketing.
Minister Winde said the news came as Chinese and African businesses and government heads were in South Africa for the Johannesburg Summit of Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), which concluded yesterday (5 December 2015).
“Hisense built their initial investment on the daily production of 350 refrigerators and 750 fridges. The daily output of Hisense in the province now stands at 1 700 televisions and 1200 refrigerators. Through innovation and continued training, they have been able to drive this phenomenal growth.
“Hisense has production facilities across the world and the Western Cape is on par with the best of these. In terms of market share, Hisense is now ranked second in South Africa on sales of televisions and refrigerators. Last year, the value of their exports to our neighbouring countries was worth over US $ 10 million. The message to Chinese companies is clear: invest in the Western Cape and your productivity and revenue will increase.”
Hisense disclosed the figures to Premier Helen Zille and Minister Winde during the Western Cape Government’s trade mission to China last month.
Minister Winde said Chinese businesses have also identified the Western Cape’s renewable energy sector as a key investment opportunity.
“The Hisense investment is delivering a massive job creation and skills development boost to Atlantis.
“I am confident the designation of the Atlantis Special Economic Zone will serve as a major draw card for Chinese businesses in this sector.”
Wesgro CEO, Tim Harris said: “We are working to enhance flight connections to the rest of the continent. This, combined with our world class infrastructure, strong skills base, and quality of lifestyle, means we are able to offer Chinese companies like Hisense the ideal location to roll out their Africa-wide strategies.
“With production rates similar to those in China, it is not surprising that Hi-Sense is experiencing strong growth in production. Jinko-Solar which produces solar panels in Epping, and wind power producer China Longyuan are two more examples of Chinese companies that have successfully set up operations in the province.”