South Africa ‘committed to working with DRC’

17 September 2014

“South Africa is committed to working closely with the DRC in ensuring that our bilateral trade relations are strengthened and deepened,” said the Acting Deputy Director General of the Department of Trade and Industry (dti), Yunus Hoosen.

Hoosen was speaking at a Trade and Investment seminar held in Kinshasa as part of the dti’s Investment and Trade Initiative (ITI) which has taken a 30-member business delegation to the DRC.

The delegation, which represents companies in the agriculture and agro-processing, infrastructure, built environment, energy, mining and capital equipment sectors among others, arrived in the DRC on Sunday.

According to Hoosen, trade between the two countries is skewed in South Africa’s favour as it exports goods and services worth R13 billion to the DRC.

“The trade imbalance between the two countries needs to be addressed. That is the reason why as a country we are committed to putting a lot of emphasis on enhancing our economic cooperation, fast-tracking identified areas of support, and looking at infrastructure projects that we would like to work closely with the DRC on,” said Hoosen.
According to Hoosen, infrastructure projects that companies in the two countries could collaborate on include transportation, logistics, supply chain and telecommunications, ports and social infrastructure.

South Africa’s Deputy Ambassador to the DRC, Andrew Maswanganye, said the two countries must focus on their industrialisation efforts to eradicate poverty, unemployment and inequality.

The economic report on Africa 2014, released by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), stated that industrialisation is key for Africa to foster structural transformation.

“Development programmes that have been identified and shared with the SA government include the development of the Grand Inga Hydro Power complex which has the potential to be the hub of the DRC power generation industry, and which if fully exploited, can supply energy to as many as five million households across Africa,” said the Deputy Ambassador.

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