China is South Africa's largest trading partner, with Hong Kong being an essential gateway for South African goods to enter China. In 2022, China accounted for 9.4% of South Africa's exports and 20.2% of South Africa's imports. One of the largest categories of South African exports is made up by fruit and vegetables. The African nation exported 108,104 tons of yellow maize to China between 25 March and 14 April this year, compared with average exports only 4,000 tons annually since 2013.
Trade between China and the African continent as a whole reached USD94.4 billion in the first four months of 2023, up by 8.9% compared to the same period the year before. China is also Hong Kong's largest trading partner, while Hong Kong is a key component of China's Greater Bay Area (GBA) project, an ambitious plan aimed at integrating the two SARs – Hong Kong and Macao – with the nine cities across the Pearl River Delta to ease the flow of goods, people and capital within the region.