At least two companies are confident of acquiring new markets during the Department of Trade and Industry's (dti) Outward Trade and Investment mission to Tunisia.
Managing Director of Resulta Exporters, Eric Juncker, says he is confident he will acquire new customers and secure a distribution agency for his products.
"We already have a small presence in Tunisia through a client we secured some years ago, but we are hoping to increase our presence there and expand to other countries in North Africa such as Algeria," said Juncker.
The mission which is led by Deputy Minister Bulelani Magwanishe got underway in the North African country bordering the Mediterranean Sea and the Sahara Desert.
"There is a distribution agency that we will be meeting during the mission and we are optimistic that we will be able to build a relationship with them that will result in our products making their way to that country and the region in larger volumes," says Juncker.
Resulta is an international consulting engineering company which specialises in supplying state-of-the-art engineering process equipment and components for manufacturers, producers, and processing companies in Africa and Europe.
Magwanishe said the investment mission will provide South African companies with a platform to introduce their products and services into the Tunisian market and beyond.
The mission will include a trade and investment seminar, business-to-business meetings and site visits.
Companies forming part of the mission are operating in the agro-processing, energy, mining and capital equipment, chemicals, infrastructure and construction sectors.
Managing Director of Crest Operations, Jacques de Villiers, said the mission will provide his company with an opportunity to make its first forays into the export market.
"We have been focusing mainly on the domestic market for the past three years and now we will be using this opportunity to make inroads into the export market," said De Villiers.
Magwanishe said the mission will assist in building trade relations between the two nations situated on the north and south tips of the continent.
"South African goods and services do not enjoy much presence in the North African region. The mission is expected to provide South African companies with a platform to introduce their products and services into the Tunisian market. South Africa and Tunisia enjoy well-established political ties but statistics show that a great need exists to build strong bilateral economic relations," said Magwanishe.
He said that despite total bilateral between the two countries growing from R431 million in 2011 to more than R500 million in 2017, trade volumes are still low.
"We have identified Tunisia as a priority partner for South Africa as per the dti's diversification strategy because it potentially offers immense opportunities for SA companies in terms of trade and investments," said Magwanishe.
The visit by the Deputy Minister Magwanishe is also expected to pave the way for the commencement of work towards the establishment of the Joint Trade and Investment Committee which will go a long way towards advancing the bilateral trade between the two countries.
The mission will conclude on Thursday.