South African companies are pleased with the recently concluded trade and investment mission to Tunisia and Algeria.
The Department of Trade and Industry (dti) led a 22-member business delegation to the two North African countries in the trade and investment mission that ran from 1-5 October
The business delegation participated in business seminars, business-to-business meetings and site visits during the mission.
Owner and Executive Director of the Tshete QS & Engineering Consultants, Rendani Makhomu said he was happy to have been part of the mission which was his first in North Africa.
He said the mission afforded him the opportunity to learn and understand the business environment in both Tunisia and Algeria.
“I had productive meetings with Tunisian and Algerian engineering companies during the mission, and as a result acquired leads that I will work on to have my services and offerings penetrate the market there,” said Makhomu on Monday.
Meanwhile, Executive Director of the Built Environment Export Council (BEPEC), Con Korsten, said although BEPEC is an established entity, platforms like trade and investment missions are still relevant to the company and to the benefit of their members.
“We had a very productive meeting with our Tunisian counterparts with possibilities of introducing our members’ services in their market. We also had successful meetings with Algerian construction companies in respect to exchanging of skills, technologies and possible cooperation in government construction tenders. The Algerian economy is going through a major transformation and as a result opens doors for South African construction companies to collaborate,” he said.
Managing Director of Treated Timber Products, Howard Holley, said his company has come back home with trade leads that could see the company exporting its products to Algeria and Tunisia soon.
The company specialises in the production of transmission, telephone, fencing and building poles.
“With our six treating plants strategically positioned near Durban and Maputo harbours, we are able to serve the local and export market with comparative ease. It is possible to penetrate the North African region via Algeria,” said Holley.
The local companies received financial support from the dti’s Export Marketing and Investment Assistance Scheme (EMIA) to participate in the trade and investment Mission.
Algeria has been South Africa’s largest export trading partner in the North Africa region, having accounted for 43% of South Africa’s total trade with North Africa in the period 2011 to 2015.
The value of trade between the two countries reached over R13.4 billion, from 2011 to 2015. South African exports were estimated at R13 billion while imports from Algeria were R463 million.