"Our aim is to accelerate growth to the levels that are present in the Bric countries."
Zuma said that, according to the latest reports, real gross domestic product at market prices increased by 4,6% during the first quarter of 2010 compared with the fourth quarter of 2009.
He is being accompanied on the trip by 13 Cabinet ministers and a delegation of 370 business people.
He said that South Africa and China, which already have trade to the value of about R120-billion, had to explore ways of increasing investment in each others' economies.
"We know that there is growing investment in the areas of household electrical appliances, clothing, textiles and mining," Zuma said.
The central challenge was the structure of trade between the two countries.
Zuma said that an exchange of South African commodities for manufactured goods from China, which has investment in South Africa in excess of R37-billion, could not be sustained in the long term.
A comprehensive strategic partnership agreement the countries had signed would place their economic relationship "on a more secure and sustainable footing" by ensuring more balanced trade and investment flows".
Zuma told journalists on Wednesday that South Africa wanted to be considered among the leaders of the developing world along with Brazil, Russia, India and China.
He said that South Africa had discussed its interest in joining the informal grouping with each member government.
The Bric nations, which economists expect to dominate world trade within 30 years, work to boost trade with each other and have called for developing countries to have bigger role in the world's major financial decisions.