19 June 2012

South Africa: Trade Initiative Gains Momentum in DRC

Pretoria — Trade and Industry Deputy Minister Elizabeth Thabethe has arrived in the Democratic Republic of the Congo town of Lubumbashi for the second leg of the Investment and Trade Initiative (ITI), which started in Kinshasa last week.

The ITI is part of the Department of Trade and Industry's Export and Investment Promotion Strategy that focuses on targeted high growth markets, with the objective of creating investment and export opportunities for South African companies and promoting South Africa as a trade and investment destination.

"We are looking forward to fruitful engagements between the Congolese and the South African government and business leaders during the three days of our stay in Lubumbashi," said Thabethe, who is accompanied by more than 60 South African businesspeople on the two-legged visit.

Thabethe said the first leg of the visit was a great success.

"The huge number of businesspeople who attended the seminar and exhibition last Thursday showed there is a greater hunger and enthusiasm from the Congolese businesspeople to do business with South Africa."

Thabethe hoped that business people in Lubumbashi, which has been described as the commercial capital of the DRC, would come in their numbers to discuss possible deals and joint ventures with their South African counterparts.

Thabethe will be delivering a keynote address at a business seminar that will be hosted by the department at the Grand Karavia Hotel, and will proceed to open an exhibition where South African business people will showcase their products and services to the Congolese.

The exhibition will be followed by business-to-business meetings.

On Wednesday, Thabethe is expected to address a gala dinner where top South African artists, Kwela Tebza and Ringo, will entertain guests, before returning home on Thursday.

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