China: Introducing The Dentons SA China Desk
Last Updated: 28 February 2017

The Dentons SA China Desk provides legal services to Chinese companies that have requirements in South Africa or multi-jurisdictional requirements in Africa. The China Desk team comprises of Noor Kapdi, Simla Ramdayal, Steven Chen and Robert Parring. Steven Chen, a South African qualified lawyer, speaks fluent Mandarin and stems from the South African Chinese community.

South Africa has the largest population of Chinese in Africa and is currently home to over 350, 000 Chinese nationals with 57 different regional Chinese associations present. Chinese state-owned companies, such as Sinosteel, Bank of China, China Construction Bank and other massive corporations such as ZTE, Huawei and ICBC, have branch offices in South Africa.

In 2014, the cumulative investment value into South Africa from over 100 state-owned entities and multinational corporations was estimated at US$10 billion. In the recent FOCAC summit held in Johannesburg in 2015, China pledged to invest a further US$60 billion into South Africa over the next three years.

The majority of investments into South Africa are in the construction, mining and energy industries, the law and regulation of which Dentons SA specialises in. The China Desk facilitates Chinese work into South Africa by leveraging off its excellent relationships with stakeholders in various sectors and by working closely with its partners at Dentons.

Dentons SA continues to expand its teams with legal experts to cater for Chinese clients in other fields such as litigation, competition law, forensics and labour law. This not only ensures that our clients' interests are well protected, but also that their employees and assets are protected too.

Dentons SA visited China three times in 2015. In August 2015, the Dentons SA office (together with the Dentons Morocco office) presented a seminar in both Beijing and Shanghai on "Doing Business in Africa". The team also attended a mining conference in Tianjin in September 2015. Materials translated into Mandarin (on "Understanding Business in South Africa" and "Mining in South Africa") were presented to clients and delegates.

A strategic cooperation agreement was entered into with the Nantong City Bar Association in August 2015,whereby the Dentons SA and Dentons Morocco offices agreed to provide legal consultancy, legal research and legal training services to Chinese companies based in Nantong. It is anticipated that similar strategic cooperation agreements will be entered into with Bar Associations in other Chinese cities during 2017.

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