Trade mis­sion to Zam­bia a suc­cess

Vuk'uzenzele - - Jobs -

the JoINt meet­ING be­tween South Africa and Zam­bia iden­ti­fied a need to cre­ate part­ner­ships to ad­dress the struc­tural chal­lenges of poverty, unem­ploy­ment and in­equal­ity.

the Depart­ment of Trade and In­dus­try (the dti) has con­cluded a suc­cess­ful trade and in­vest­ment mis­sion to Zam­bia, iden­ti­fy­ing a num­ber of busi­ness op­por­tu­ni­ties that ex­ist be­tween the two coun­tries.

The mis­sion, at­tended by rep­re­sen­ta­tives from 20 South African busi­nesses, also iden­ti­fied a need to cre­ate much needed part­ner­ships to­wards ad­dress­ing the struc­tural chal­lenges re­lat­ing to poverty, unem­ploy­ment and in­equal­ity.

“We need to strengthen our com­par­a­tive ad­van­tages and fo­cus on the im­ple­men­ta­tion com­mit­ments made through the Mem­o­ran­dum of Un­der­stand­ing on Eco­nomic Co­op­er­a­tion signed be­tween our coun­tries,” said Di­rec­tor of Ex­port Pro­mo­tion at the dti, Seema Sardha.

South Africa, she said, is in­ti­mately linked with the African con­ti­nent “hence we en­sure that our de­vel­op­men­tal agen­das are in­ter­wo­ven as this re­lates to mar­ket in­te­gra­tion as well as in­dus­tri­al­i­sa­tion”.

The mis­sion to Zam­bia en­abled South African com­pa­nies to in­ter­act with lead­ing pri­vate sec­tor en­ti­ties from agro-pro­cess­ing, agri-busi­ness; in­fra­struc­ture, ad­vanced man­u­fac­tur­ing, en­ergy, ser­vices, tourism in­fra­struc­ture de­vel­op­ment and min­ing and cap­i­tal equip­ment.

A top trad­ing part­ner

It also pre­sented a plat­form for South African com­pa­nies that would like to ex­port value-added prod­ucts, and form joint-ven­ture part­ner­ships in Zam­bia to en­gage with their coun­ter­parts.

Zam­bia is one of South Africa’s top five trade part­ners in the SADC re­gion with to­tal bi­lat­eral trade amount­ing to R33 bil­lion in 2016.

Sardha en­cour­aged com­pa­nies to take a long term view, es­pe­cially when it comes to un­der­tak­ing busi­ness ex­er­cises in Africa.

“It is im­per­a­tive that the pri­vate sec­tor ad­vances the com­mit­ments made by Pres­i­dent Edgar Lungu dur­ing the state visit to South Africa last year, to­wards re­al­is­ing the es­tab­lish­ment of re­gional value-chains and man­u­fac­tur­ing ca­pa­bil­i­ties on the con­ti­nent as out­lined in Agenda 2063 and South­ern African De­vel­op­ment Com­mu­nity’s (SADC) In­dus­tri­al­i­sa­tion Strat­egy and Roadmap,” Sardha said.

Dur­ing the state visit in 2016, Pres­i­dent Lungu and Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma re­it­er­ated the im­por­tance of on­go­ing eco­nomic co­op­er­a­tion be­tween the two coun­tries in terms of trade and in­vest­ment. The bi­lat­eral Busi­ness Fo­rum had met to ex­plore more av­enues for co­op­er­a­tion. -

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