SA eyes trade relations with Colombia

Monday, March 19, 2018

The Department of Trade and Industry will this week lead the first Outward Selling Mission (OSM) to Colombia which South Africa sees as an important high-growth market.

Minister Rob Davies said the department identified the South American country as an important high-growth market that shows high export potential for South African products and services.

“The OSM to Colombia was recommended as a result of the scoping mission that our officials undertook in June 2015. The objective of the technical visit was to scope the market and identify trade and investment opportunities for South African products and services, including opportunities for joint ventures on projects in both countries,” said Minister Davies on Sunday.

Business opportunities

The technical mission in 2015 identified an impressive number of business opportunities for South African companies to develop and increase trade between the two countries.

It also recommended that the emphasis should be on value-added products especially in the mining, industrial and automotive sectors. Numerous value-added products with potential for export from South Africa to Colombia were identified.

The objective of the mission, which gets underway on Tuesday, is to forge relationships with key industry specific stakeholders in Colombia, and to build an export market for the South African value-added products, and services as South Africa seeks to diversify its exporter base.

“The outward selling mission is expected to introduce and create awareness of the South African products and services in the Colombian market. It will also assist companies that will be part of the mission to generate trade leads and identify potential buyers, investment opportunities and possible partners for joint ventures,” said the Minister.

As a result, the mission encompasses South African companies operating in the mining, agro-processing, capital equipment, engineering, construction and automotive components sectors participating in the programme.

The companies’ participation is supported by the dti through the Export Marketing and Investment Assistance Scheme (EMIA).

The objective of the scheme is to develop export markets for South African products and services and to recruit new foreign direct investment into the country.

The mission will comprise a trade and investment seminar hosted by the Bogota Chamber of Commerce, and attended by various critical players in the automotive, agro-processing and mining industries in Colombia who seek to understand more about the trade and investment opportunities in South Africa.

In addition, the South African delegation will be conducting business-to-business meetings with relevant partner institutions, as well as site visits in the economic capital of Bogota, and the Caribbean regional ports of Barranquilla, Santa Marta and Cartagena.

Colombia’s economy is South America’s third largest behind Brazil and Argentina. The country’s economy has been experiencing positive growth in the past three years largely due to the government’s export-oriented growth strategy and an improved security situation.

Trade between South Africa and Colombia has grown from R419 million in 2011 to more than R858 million in 2017. The trade mission will conclude on Saturday. – SAnews.gov.za

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