Pretoria: Mining, agro-processing and construction will be the focus of the newly-established South Africa-Peru Chamber of Commerce (SAPCHAM), said the Department of Trade and Industry (dti).
Ambassador of South Africa to Peru, Elsa Dry, said the focus on the three sectors is meant to increase bilateral trade and investment between the two countries.
Speaking at the launch of the chamber which took place in Lima, Peru, on Wednesday, Ambassador Dry said the two countries have considerable strength in these sectors.
“Both the embassy, in co-operation with the dti and the new chamber have decided to focus on three sectors, namely mining, agro-processing and construction. Both our countries have considerable strengths in these sectors. As developing countries, we can also learn a great deal from, and complement each other,” said Ambassador Dry.
The launch of the chamber was attended by a business delegation, which is currently in Lima on a week-long Outward Trade and Investment Mission (OTIM), as well as South African business people doing business in Peru.
Ambassador Dry also identified the export of capital equipment to Peru mostly for mining by South Africa and Peru’s export of agricultural products such as asparagus, giant squid and avocados to SA as some of the complementaries that the two countries can focus on and grow their bilateral trade.
“Furthermore, South Africa has great expertise in the wine industry which Peru may wish to discover and tap into. Another area which could be interesting to focus on in future is the blue economy which comprises of our marine and river resources, aquaculture and offshore drilling,” she said.
Dry explained that the launch of the chamber was part of the initiatives that South Africa have taken in order to improve the bilateral economic relations between the two countries. This include the scoping mission that was undertaken by the dti in 2013, followed by the first trade and investment mission to Peru last year. The South African embassy in Peru also hosted culinary weeks which sought to promote South African food and wines in Peru.
The inaugural president of the chamber, Guillermo van Oordt, said the chamber would contribute significantly in increasing trade and investment between South Africa and Peru.
“The objectives of the chamber include to actively promote the interests of businesspeople from Peru and SA, to organise regular meetings for networking, facilitate constant contact between companies of the two countries and organising bilateral trade missions,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Ambassador of Peru to South Africa, Nicolas Roncagliolo, said Peru and South Africa have the potential to become successful economic partners.
“There are major companies from South Africa that already have large investments in Peru. These include SAB Miller and Gold Fields who have invested approximately US$4.8 billion in our country. Due to Peru’s economic boom over the past 10 years, we also have the presence of more than 30 South African small and medium enterprises doing business in the country mostly in the mining sector,” said Roncagliolo.
He further explained that Peru also focused on forging links with chambers of commerce in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban and Limpopo to expand its footprint in the country.
He expressed contentment that South African companies have shown interest in doing business with his country and are receptive to the Peruvian’s efforts aimed at exposing opportunities in Peru to the South African companies.
SOURCE: SOUTH AFRICAN OFFICIAL NEWS