Dti arrives in Benin for investment mission

Pretoria: Trade and Industry Deputy Minister, Elizabeth Thabethe, has arrived in Benin on the last leg of her West Africa Outward Selling and Investment Mission aimed at increasing bilateral trade, her department said on Monday.

Thabethe is accompanied by a business delegation that has been assisted by the Department of Trade and Industry through its Export Marketing and Investment Assistance scheme (EMIA).

The deputy minister’s mission kicked off in Accra, Ghana, last Wednesday, where she met with the Ministers of Trade and Industry Haruna Idrissu and Tourism Abla Dzifa Gomashie. Thabethe also met with the Ghana Trade and Investment Promotion representatives.

During the deputy minister’s visit, an undertaking was made at the bilateral meetings to fast-track the implementation of the Economic and Technical Cooperation Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed in 2011.

“In my discussions with my Ghanaian counterparts, it was evident that there are opportunities for multi-sectoral collaborations as the country is one of the fastest growing economies in the world.

“Despite this, Ghana has an underdeveloped infrastructure, especially in the transport and logistics sector… We have undertaken to assist with our knowledge and expertise in that regard. We will also discuss in broad terms a framework to reconcile all these issues during President Zuma’s state visit in November 2013,” said Thabethe.

According to the MoU, the two countries pledged to intensify efforts for the promotion of bilateral trade, industrial development, technical capacity building and infrastructure development.

Thabethe emphasised the importance of South Africa continuing to pursue economic collaboration and partnerships with African countries when crafting the way forward for sustainable development on the continent.

“It is in this regard that we have taken a conscious decision to partner with both Ghana and Benin during their reconstruction and development phases,” she said on Monday.

The deputy minister’s trip to Benin will conclude on Friday.