Trade and Industry Deputy Minister Bulelani Magwanishe is expected to lead a business delegation on a trade and investment mission to Angola.
Speaking ahead of Monday’s investment mission, Magwanishe said the mission grants the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) the prospect of continued economic collaboration and partnerships with African countries. This is for the realisation of higher levels of industrialisation through sustainable trade and investment.
“South Africa’s economy is linked to other economies, especially those in Southern Africa, and is therefore obligated to stimulate economic development through promoting outward investment, trade, regional industrialisation and infrastructure development,” said Magwanishe.
Angola remains a strategic and significant trading partner to South Africa. The two countries enjoy strong bilateral relations, with total trade currently amounting to R25.6 billion.
As Angola seeks to address the triple economic challenge of poverty, inequality and unemployment through industrialisation and the diversification of its economy, Magwanishe said South Africa can consider this mission as a strategic intervention of its investment-led trade approach.
This approach aims to position South Africa as the preferred trade and investment partner to the new Angolan government through commercial exchanges in the targeted sectors of the mission.
According to Magwanishe, the mission is anticipated to see an increase in trade and investment between the two countries, the strengthening of existing relations between the two nations and the formation of commercial partnerships and joint ventures.
The business delegation consists of 20 South African companies funded by the dti.
These companies represent the aerospace and defence, built environment professionals (consulting engineers, civil engineering contractors), mining products and services; and infrastructure (road construction, housing development) sectors.
Prospects of opportunities
One of the companies, UWP Consulting (Pty) Ltd, is hopeful of expanding its customer base in Angola.
The Gauteng civil and structural consulting engineering firm is excited about business-to-business meetings that will be held.
“We are particularly excited about the business-to-business meetings that are being arranged for us. On our own we would not have been able to arrange such meetings, considering the language barrier. We are optimistic that this mission will yield positive results in a form of partnerships with local companies and cooperation,” said the company’s tender manager Humbulani Mulaudzi.
The company is a majority black-owned company that currently employs about 250 people in 14 offices across South Africa, Zambia, Tanzania, Botswana, Lesotho, Ghana and Zimbabwe.
The dti has over the years assisted companies through its Export Marketing and Investment Assistance scheme. The scheme develops export markets for South African products and services.
The week-long mission will include a trade and investment seminar, targeted business-to-business meetings and sector specific site visits.
The investment mission, which follows on President Cyril Ramaphosa’s working visit to Luanda, will conclude on 21 July.
During his visit, President Ramaphosa said South Africa will continue to work to increase cooperation with Angola at higher levels.
Angolan President João Lourenço was on a State visit to South Africa in November 2017.