The joint meeting between South Africa and Zambia identified a need to create partnerships to address the structural challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality.
The Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) has concluded a successful trade and investment mission to Zambia, identifying a number of business opportunities that exist between the two countries.
The mission, attended by representatives from 20 South African businesses, 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 Director of Export Promotion at the dti, Seema Sardha.
South Africa, she said, is intimately linked with the African continent “hence we ensure that our developmental agendas are interwoven as this relates to market integration as well as industrialisation”.
The mission to Zambia 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.
A top trading partner
It also presented a platform for South African 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.
Sardha 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,” Sardha said.
During the state visit in 2016, President Lungu and President 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. - SAnews.gov.za