The Department of Trade and Industry (dti) has concluded a successful Trade and Investment Mission to Zambia.
Director of Export Promotion at the dti, Seema Sardha, said the 20-member South African business delegation that were part of the mission, identified countless mutually beneficial business opportunities that exist between the two countries.
The two-day investment mission that got underway on Monday, also identified a need to create much needed partnerships towards addressing the structural challenges relating to poverty, unemployment and inequality.
“We need to strengthen our comparative advantages and focus on the implementation commitments made through the Memorandum of Understanding on Economic Cooperation signed between our countries,” said Sardha on Wednesday.
She further added that South Africa is intimately linked with the African continent.
“We are intimately linked with our partners on the continent hence we ensure that our developmental agendas are interwoven as this relates to market integration as well as industrialisation,” said Sardha.
This as the department led the delegation made up of local companies that it has funded on the investment mission in Lusaka in the landlocked southern African country.
She encouraged companies to take a long term view, especially when it comes to undertaking business exercises in Africa.
“It is imperative that the private sector advances the commitments made by President Edgar Lungu during the state visit to South Africa last year, towards realising the establishment of regional value-chains and manufacturing capabilities on the continent as outlined in Agenda 2063 and Southern African Development Community’s (SADC) Industrialisation Strategy and Roadmap,” she said.
During the state visit in 2016, Presidents Lungu and Jacob Zuma reiterated the importance of ongoing economic cooperation between the two countries in terms of trade and investment. The bilateral Business Forum had met to explore more avenues for cooperation.
At the time, the Presidents urged the private sector to increase economic cooperation between the two countries.
This week’s mission enabled South African companies to interact with leading private sector entities from agro-processing, agri-business; infrastructure, advanced manufacturing, energy, services, tourism infrastructure development and mining and capital equipment.
It also presented a platform for SA companies that would like to export value-added products, and form joint-venture partnerships in Zambia to engage with their counterparts.
Zambia is one of South Africa’s top five trade partners in the SADC region with total bilateral trade amounting to R33 billion in 2016.