Investment mission to deepen SA-Ghana relations

Pretoria - The Department of Trade and Industry’s investment mission to Ghana will deepen and consolidate bilateral relations between the two countries, says South African High Commissioner to Ghana, Lulama Xingwana.

Addressing an investment seminar attended by South African businesspeople and their Ghanaian counterparts on Tuesday, Xingwana said the two countries’ historic relations demonstrate collective resolve to change underdevelopment and set the countries on a path to economic partnership based on solid bilateral trade.

A 20-member delegation of South African companies is on a trade and investment mission to Ghana. The delegation is made up of businesspeople, who are participating in the mission that began on Monday.

Xingwana said the trade and investment mission is not only an affirmation of the warm and strong bond between the two nations, but equally a demonstration of an evolving economic partnership between the two countries.

“The importance of Ghana to South Africa as an anchor partner country within the West Africa region being recognised and affirmed by the continuous presence of South African delegations in the country.

“We also salute the pioneering South African companies that have expanded their businesses to Ghana and contributed more than US$170 million in capital investment. These include Stanbic, Group Five, MTN, Multichoice, Shoprite, Game, Edcon, Trellidor, Bigen Africa, WBHO, Mr Price, Old Mutual and Broll, to name just a few,” said Xingwana.

She said South Africa sees the rest of Africa as an important development partner. In this regard, she said South Africa continuously encourages South African businesses to seize opportunities that Ghana presents to South Africa for trade and investment.

“The active economic role that the two countries play in their respective regions contributes to the collective lifting of economies of the immediate neighbours, thereby consolidating the agenda of regional integration,” said Xingwana.

Xingwana expressed her enthusiasm that the business interactions and networking business seminar will lead to tangible outcomes and possible deals.

Sectors targeted for the mission are agro- processing; electro-technical; infrastructure, mining and capital equipment. The programme for the mission will also include site visits and business-to-business meetings.

Increasing trade

Meanwhile, the Director of Export Promotions at the dti, Seema Sardha, said the responsibility is upon captains of industry to ensure that the triple challenge of poverty, unemployment and inequality are addressed on the continent.

Speaking at the same seminar, Sardha said increasing trade on the continent and fostering partnerships with African partners is important and can lead to poverty alleviation, increased trade flows, industrial development and subsequent creation of more jobs, which is key to the economic development of Africa.

She said both sides need to focus on the creation of regional value chains, manufacturing hubs and centres of excellence that Africa currently lacks and which impede the continent’s competitiveness.

Sardha said South Africa remains resolute in its commitment towards the implementation of Africa Agenda 2063 and the Southern African Development Community’s Industrialisation Strategy and Roadmap.

South Africa is committed to support the Tripartite Free Trade Area and Continental Free Trade Area, which will provide optimal yields in terms of advancing growth on the continent.

“Currently intra-Africa trade stands at a mere 12% compared with about 40% in North America and about 60% in Western Europe. However, we believe that the continental free trade area will expand intra-African trade.

“This will enable the promotion of collaboration between the regional economic communities and the facilitation of joint resource mobilisation and project implementation, which is key towards unlocking the structural deficiencies on the continent,” Sardha said.

The mission forms part of the dti’s objective to identify and create export markets for South African value-added products and services. It also serves to promote South African products, service offerings and to create business partnerships between business communities of the three respective countries.

The second leg of the investment mission will head to Nigeria over the course of the week and will conclude on Saturday. – SAnews.gov.za