Pretoria – Trade and Industry Deputy Minister Mzwandile Masina will next week lead a business delegation to Moscow, Russia.
The Deputy Minister will lead a delegation of over 20 businesspeople on an Investment and Trade Initiative (ITI) that gets underway on Monday.
The ITI is part of the Department of Trade and Industry (dti) export and investment promotion strategy of focusing on Russia as a high-growth export market and foreign direct investment source.
The aim of the ITI, said Deputy Minister Masina, is to increase South African value-added products and services in Russia and to promote South Africa as a trade and investment destination.
“The ITI is targeting South African companies seeking to attract foreign direct investment and also businesspeople seeking joint venture partnerships with a particular sectoral focus on agro-processing,” said the Deputy Minister.
Although current bilateral trade has demonstrated an upward trajectory in terms of total trade, South Africa is still experiencing a trade deficit.
“South African exports increased from R2.1 billion in 2011 to R3.7 billion in 2015. Total imports from Russia increased significantly from R1.2 billion in 2011 to R6.1 billion in 2015,” said the Deputy Minister.
South Africa’s exports basket to Russia is dominated by primary sector products, particularly in the agricultural sector such as citrus fruit, apples and pears, fresh and dried. Russia’s imports basket includes fabricated products such as fertilizers and rubber products and so on.
According to the Deputy Minister, trade opportunities are present in the live fish and other seafood sector, milk, potatoes and other vegetable products and as well as fruits and nuts.
The programme for the ITI will include targeted business-to-business meetings, site visits, investment and export-related round table discussions and seminars.
The ITI will take place from 20 to 23 June 2016.