The director of Lucchini SA, Gcobisa Bokleni-Toyi (right) with the President of Luanda. PHOTO: Supplied

CAPE TOWN -  South African business people on Thursday expressed satisfaction with the quality of their engagements, level of exposure and the positive reception they had experienced during an outward trade and investment mission to Luanda in Angola.

The business people’s participation at the event, which started on Monday until Friday, has been organised and funded by the Trade and Industry department (the dti) through its export marketing and investment assistance scheme.

The director of Lucchini SA, Gcobisa Bokleni-Toyi, said her company was looking for trade and investment partnerships in the steel and metal sectors. She said her company’s goal was to access the Angolan rail market and become the preferred forged solid train wheels supplier.

“Since the beginning of the week, the response has been positive. I met with one steel production company which declared its interest to work with us, especially for the provision of materials to develop wagons and passenger coaches,” she said.

“I am also delighted that the meeting with the president of Luanda Railway materialised because it presented us with an opportunity to reintroduce ourselves and build on the previous engagements we have had with Luanda Railway last year,” added Bokleni-Toyi.

According to Kibiti Ntshumaelo, the managing director of Lekwa Consulting Engineers which specialises in the design and implementation of civil infrastructure developments, the mission has been an invaluable business exercise that will eventually advance the growth of his company. He further pointed out that the Angolan market requires patience and an investment in nurturing relationships with the private sector if one is serious about establishing their footprint in this important but challenging market.

“I met with a local engineer who works in the infrastructure development space. He highlighted that there are opportunities for collaboration on projects, particularly with the new aggressive reforms which the government is implementing as a means to attract investment. 

“The meeting with the Ministry of Transportation on Tuesday proved valuable because there are prospects of attracting renowned companies like M62 Consulting to partner on African Development Bank-funded projects,” said Ntshumaelo.  

The director for export promotion at Trade and Investment South Africa, a business unit within the dti, Kwanda Modise, who led the business delegation to the meeting at Luanda Railway, said the purpose of the visit was to build on the opportunities that were identified and subsequently pursued by some companies during the last visit to Luanda Rail in July. 

She added that companies in the infrastructure, rail and construction sectors gained vital insight into the Angolan market in 2018 and that the current mission would empower the companies with firmer business intelligence that can strengthen their presence in the market.

African News Agency (ANA)