The Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Ms Elizabeth Thabethe has urged business people from South Africa and Gabon to give meaning to bilateral agreements that the two countries have signed by contributing in increasing trade between the countries.
Deputy Minister Thabethe was speaking at a business seminar held during the Gabonese leg of the Trade and Investment Mission arranged by the Department of Trade and Industry. The mission started in Cameroon last week.
"Business people from South Africa and Gabon need to work together to give meaning to agreements that we have signed. These are the Bilateral Trade Agreement and the Reciprocal Promotion and Protection of Investment Agreement," said Thabethe.
She added that there were some critical issues that the governments of the two counties needed to look into in order to make the environment conducive for business people to trade between themselves and invest in each other's country. She identified these as the establishment of a Joint Trade Committee that will facilitate market access, and the Joint Business Council to facilitate easy engagements by private sector of both countries.
"We are hopeful that through this engagement meaningful trade leads will be established and opportunities for investments opened up for access by South Africa. The increase in investment focus on Africa presents an opportunity for South Africa and Gabon to build sustainable economic relations," said Thabethe.
Speaking at the same event, the South African Ambassador to Gabon, Ms Thaninga Shope-Linney said soon after being inaugurated as the first democratically elected President of South Africa, Former State President, Nelson Mandela made his maiden visit to Gabon and since then the two countries had enjoyed a cordial political partnership.
It is from this partnership that the two countries should work on linking each other economically," Shope-Linney.
Department of Trade and Industry