South African delegation to visit DRC

South Africa's Department of Trade and Industry says it will send a delegation of business people to a trade conference in the DRC next week. Photo: AFP PHOTO / Junior D. Kannah

CAPE TOWN – The Department of Trade and Industry (dti) is set to take a 50-strong delegation of business people to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on a trade mission, the department said on Tuesday.

The business delegation would be participating in the seventh Investment and Trade Initiative (ITI) in the DRC. The initiative would take place from September 14 – 19 in the cities of Kinshasa and Lubumbashi.

South African Minister of Trade and Industry Dr Rob Davies said this year’s ITI “is aligned with the dti’s post-conflict reconstruction strategy for the DRC which also entails infrastructure rehabilitation and development as well as the facilitation of investments into that country’s economy by South African entities”.

The DRC, he said, “is a strategic market for South Africa, with a domestic market estimated at 77 million people, and bordered by nine countries with a potential market of 200 million consumers.”

Davies said this indicated that the DRC is “the largest market for South African products and services in sub-Saharan Africa”.

He said in turn, “currently, South Africa is the DRC’s number one import source in the world at 21.40%”.

“There is considerable growth in both exports and imports, however, South Africa continues to dominate the terms of trade between the two countries,” he said.

The delegation would consist of business people from the agro-processing and agriculture, infrastructure, built environment professionals, energy, mining and capital equipment, medical equipment, solutions and supplies and electro technical sectors.

Davies added that the bilateral trade relations between the two countries would be strengthened, and it reflected the regional trend which continued to characterise the way South Africa traded with other African countries.

The delegation is scheduled to depart for the DRC on September 13.

- ANA

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