JOHANNESBURG - South Africa and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have committed to remove hurdles that hinder business interactions between business people of the two countries, the trade and industry department (dti) said on Saturday.
The agreement and commitment emanated from discussions held during this week’s Investment and Trade Initiative (ITI) seminar, organised by the dti and hosted in Lubumbashi in the DRC, the department said in a statement.
Addressing delegates at the seminar, South African consul general in Lubumbashi Andrew Maswanganye said it was important for both countries to work towards “harmonising the climate of doing business” and coming up with ideas on how to implement agreements already in place.
“It is important to identify opportunities that will work for our business people in order to increase trade and investment between us. We also need to zoom in on the critical sectors where skill transfer and technology transfer must be fast-tracked. We also encourage business people to work with governments to address factors hindering their ability to do work in these countries,’’ he said.
Over the years the consulate had observed that several companies that had participated in the ITI had also improved their commercial presence beyond the borders of South Africa, and had also expanded their brand footprint beyond what had originally been envisaged, Maswanganye said.
DRC State Economy Minister Joseph Kapika said the DRC government’s priority was to ensure that the “one stop shop” created for business registrations and investment facilitation had resources to fulfill its mandate for the country. He appealed to South Africa to share its expertise, technological advancement, and skills transfer to help the DRC.
The Lubumbashi leg of the ITI was also attended by nine national ministers from the departments of national planning, economic development, transport, agriculture, planning, energy, trade and industry, tourism, and public works. These ministers led the panel discussions and shared project specific information and long-term programmes with the South African business delegation, the dti said.