SA, Egypt boost trade links

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Pretoria - The South African and Egyptian business community should take advantage of cordial bilateral relations that exist between the two countries, says Egyptian ambassador to South Africa, Sherif Naguib.

“South Africa and Egypt have created a conducive political environment for business to operate in.  The onus rests with businesspeople from our countries to explore the multiple business opportunities that exist by establishing joint ventures and investing in various sectors of our respective economies,” said Naguib.

The ambassador was speaking on Monday at the start of a seminar on trade and investment opportunities between South Africa and Egypt, hosted in Kempton Park.

Trade volumes between South Africa and Egypt were not currently reflective of the true potential that exists between the two countries, said Portia Poulsen, the director responsible for North Africa in the International Trade and Economic Development Division of the Department of Trade and Industry (dti).

Naguib added that Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi had accepted President Jacob Zuma’s invitation to the Brics Leaders of Africa Dialogue, which will take place in South Africa in March.

“President Morsi hopes that the Brics Forum will serve as a springboard for more Egyptian and South African trade and investment missions,” said Naguib.

The seminar is a result of a number of events following the state visit to Egypt, led by President Zuma in 2010.

It is an opportunity for South African businesspeople in various sectors a platform to meet with their Egyptian counterparts.  It is also an implementation process of the Memorandum of Understanding on Economic Cooperation signed with Egypt in 2009.

The seminar also forms part of efforts by the two countries to facilitate intra-Africa trade, by ensuring that business communities between the two partnering countries acquire insight into each other’s markets. -