Deputy Trade and Industry Elizabeth Thabethe, accompanied by a delegation of 43 South African businesspeople, arrived in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on Monday for a week-long trade and investment mission.
The Department of Trade and Industry's (DTI's) investment and trade initiatives, as they are called, seek to create opportunities in high-growth markets for South African companies while promoting South Africa as a trade and investment destination.
This week's mission will include a trade investment seminar, exhibitions and business-to-business meetings in Kinshasa and Lubumbashi.
"The exhibitions will expose our companies to export opportunities and will provide a platform to promote South African products to potential new customers and penetrate new markets," Thabethe said in a statement on Monday.
One the participants in the mission, Billy Murray, is the chief executive of Greenbro, a Western Cape-based company that manufactures polyetheylene electrical enclosures.
According to Murray, taking part in the ITI will give the company exposure and enable it to meet major electrical companies in DRC.
"We are going there with an open mind and looking forward to the business-to-business meetings with our counterparts in the DRC," Murray told the DTI last week.
Murray said he had participated in three other DTI missions - to Zimbabwe, Ghana and Benin - which had yielded positive results for the company. "The DTI is really coming through for us, as a small company. We wouldn't have managed to undertake such international missions on our own."
Rendani Makhomu, who heads up Limpopo-based engineering company Tshete Holdings, was upbeat ahead of this week's mission, having travelled with the DTI to Ghana and Benin in June and July.
Following talks with the Investment Promotion Centre in Ghana and with Ghana's ministry of roads, Makhomu said Tshete Holdings planned to establish a small cold mix asphalt manufacturing plant in Ghana.