Pretoria: The Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry Elizabeth Thabethe is expected to lead a business delegation on a sector-specific business mission to Cameroon and Gabon on Sunday.
The delegation will consist of businesspeople from various sectors of the economy.
The aim of the business mission is to deepen economic cooperation and stimulate trade and investment among the three countries, specifically within agriculture, mining, manufacturing, oil and gas, infrastructure and ICT.
According to the Deputy Minister, the mission is a culmination of a series of bilateral engagements that emanated from the Bilateral Trade Agreement and the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Economic and Technical Cooperation that was ratified in May 2009.
“It is from this premise that we have been working tirelessly to ensure that economic cooperation between ourselves and our partner countries is elevated to another level,” she said.
“This mission will see us traverse both the Cameroonian and Gabonese economic landscape, presenting South African businesses with an opportunity to explore trade and investment opportunities that exist, through off-site as well as on-site business-to-business meetings.
“There will also be an exploration of business opportunities with the intent of accelerating South Africa’s exports to Gabon and Cameroon. Issues surrounding the terms of reference for the implementation of the Bilateral Trade Agreement and follow-up on the ratification of the signed agreements will be concluded,” she added.
Thabethe said both missions were informed by the desire to stimulate trade and investments between these two countries and South Africa.
“Our strategy is to have the two countries falling within the top five of our trading partners in the Economic Community of Central African States (CEMAC) region. Through such engagements it is envisaged that local business people will act vigorously to grasp trade and investment opportunities that are available in both countries,” said Thabethe.
Meanwhile, the department will also lead a delegation of 25 South African businesses to the Investment and Trade Initiative (ITI) taking place in Sao Paulo and Belo Horizonte, in Brazil next week.
The ITI is expected to increase exports of value-added products from South Africa to Brazil, by means of showcasing South African companies’ diverse range of capabilities to produce world class products and services.