As part of a renewed strategy to intensify trade relations with the continent and further strengthen its export-led economy, Canada has announced the “revitalisation” of the South-Africa Chamber of Commerce (SACCB) and the establishment of Export Development Canada’s (EDC’s) first African office, in Johannesburg.
The SACCB, which had been in existence for several years but had recently become inactive, would provide a forum for Canadian companies and investors in South Africa to increase their profile in the country and promote networking and partnerships with South African firms.
The bilateral chamber would be a “collective voice” for Canadian firms, keeping its members informed of any local policy and regulatory amendments and advocating on their behalf.
Canadian International Trade Minister Ed Fast said trade between South Africa and Canada totalled a “modest” $1.2-billion in 2013.
“South Africa is Canada’s most important commercial and political partner in Africa and is the only country in Africa – and one of only 20 around the world – to be identified by our government’s recent Global Markets Action Plan (GMAP) as an ‘emerging market with broad Canadian interests’,” he said.
“When most Canadian businesses look to South Africa, they see a country so far away they think it’s impossible to trade with it. The EDC will change that,” Fast explained.
By: Natalie Greve
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