South African business people are upbeat ahead of the start of a trade and investment mission to West Africa.
The Director of Basils Business Opportunists, Basil Phupha, said he is looking forward to the trip, as it will provide his company with an excellent opportunity to expand its market to West Africa.
"We are currently exporting our agro-processing equipment to neighbouring countries such as Botswana, Namibia, Mozambique and Lesotho. We are determined to find companies in Ghana and Nigeria that can import our products and distribute them in the two countries and the rest of the sub-region," said Phupha.
The Bloemfontein-based company is optimistic that the Department of Trade and Industry's (dti) Outward Trade and Investment Mission will assist it to tap into the Ghanaian and Nigeria markets.
Basils Business Opportunists is part of a delegation of local companies that will depart for West Africa on Sunday to participate in the Outward Trade and Investment Mission (OTIM).
The OTIM is funded by the dti through its Export Marketing and Investment Assistance Scheme, whose objective is to develop export markets for South African products and services.
Deputy Minister Nomalungelo Gina said the objective of the mission is to increase bilateral trade and investment between South Africa and the two West African countries.
Managing Director of AET Africa, Sandiswa Qayi, who participated in last year's West Africa OTIM said the trip was beneficial for her company.
"Those trips were very valuable for our company, in that I managed to establish good contacts and generated promising leads that will probably see us exporting our products or technology to the two countries.
"This mission could not have come at a more opportune time, as I have set up meetings with the companies that I met last year to discuss the way forward, as well as follow up with potential customers that I shared samples with," she said.
AET Africa manufactures high quality energy efficiency and clean technology products.
CFAM Technologies, a company that manufactures agricultural processing equipment, is also seeking to expand its footprint.
"Our objective is to penetrate the West African market and expand our footprint, as we have already exported our products to countries such as Namibia, Botswana, United Kingdom and Canada. We are positive that the trip will yield positive results for our company," said the company's Director Louis Grobler.
The trade mission to Accra in Ghana and Lagos in Nigeria will include trade and investment seminars, business-to-business meetings as well as site visits.
The OTIM will conclude on Friday 14 February.