The Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Mzwandile Masina has encouraged business people from South Africa and The Netherlands to contribute in increasing trade and investment between the two countries.
Masina was delivering a keynote speech at the South Africa-Netherlands Business Forum that took place in Newtown, Johannesburg today. The seminar was part of the Netherlands Trade Mission to South Africa that started on Monday with the State Visit to SA by the Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and will continue until Friday.
“The Netherlands has a very long and reputable history as a trading nation and our two countries have continued to grow their trade with each other over the years. Total trade between the two countries amounted to more than R48 billion in 2014, an increase of 26% compared to 2013. There is still a room for businesspeople from both countries to work together in order to contribute meaningfully in increasing this trade further,” said Masina.
He added that The Netherlands was South Africa’s 7th largest export market in 2014. SA’s exports to The Netherlands grew by 21% last year to reach nearly R33 billion.
“The Netherlands is one of very few countries in the European Union with which South Africa enjoys a trade surplus. This also highlights the importance of The Netherlands as a major gateway to the European Union with its highly sophisticated and organised logistics systems and networks. This is of particular importance for our exports of fresh fruits to the EU as the sector is a key contributor to exports as well as job creation,” emphasised Masina.
Masina commended the Netherlands for continuing to increase its investments in South Africa. He said the country was an important investor in South Africa, occupying the 15th place in terms of foreign investor countries, with a total Capex value of more than R15 billion. According to FDI Intelligence figures a total of 25 FDI projects by Dutch firms were recorded over the last six years totalling nearly R6 billion and creating about 800 jobs.
“This is highly encouraging and we are confident that FDI from The Netherlands into South Africa will continue to grow and we trust that the visit by Prime Minister Rutte and the business delegation will lead to further investment by Dutch companies in South Africa,” said Masina.
The Netherlands’ Acting Vice Minister of Logistics and Mobility Mr Mark Frequin urged businesspeople from SA and his country to take advantage of the strong political and economic relations between the two countries and work together to increase trade and investment between the two countries.
CAPTION: Deputy Minister Masina speaking at the South Africa-Netherlands Business Forum in Newtown today.
Sidwell Medupe-Departmental Spokesperson
Tel: (012) 394 1650
Mobile: 079 492 1774
Follow us on Twitter: @the_dti
SOURCE: SOUTH AFRICAN OFFICIAL NEWS