The Durban Chamber of Commerce team and the Ukrainian delegates, during their Ukranian Trade Delegation meeting at the Durban Country Club. They are pictured with Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs MEC Ravi Pillay. Picture: Tumi Pakkies African News Agency (ANA)
The Durban Chamber of Commerce team and the Ukrainian delegates, during their Ukranian Trade Delegation meeting at the Durban Country Club. They are pictured with Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs MEC Ravi Pillay. Picture: Tumi Pakkies African News Agency (ANA)

Ukraine, SA strengthen trade relations

By Staff Reporter Time of article published Apr 19, 2021

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DURBAN - THE Durban Chamber Of Commerce and Industry recently hosted a Ukranian Business Trade Delegation, with the aim of “matchmaking” between Ukrainian and South African businesses, while also strengthening existing trade relationships between the two countries.

The international trade relations between the two countries were also in hopes of lessening the impact of Covid-19. Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs MEC Ravi Pillay described the move: “Economic recovery is the key strategic task, since job creation is the number one priority amid the coronavirus pandemic.”

Pillay highlighted that the South African agricultural sector had the potential to make a great contribution towards the recovery of the economy.

“With that said and the Ukrainian government being big on the agricultural sector, the two forces should be greatly beneficial to one another.”

Sipho Kaunda, chairperson of Economic Development Planning Committee at the eThekwini Municipality, said: “The eThekwini Municipality is open for business.”

He also advised that a people-centred approach was key in the strategy they have committed to, regarding international relations and investments.

President of the Ukrainian Business Trade Association Dmytro Los emphasised the importance of meeting potential investors. He was excited about the new business opportunities that both SA and Ukraine would be venturing into. “Both South Africa and Ukraine are great places for investments, so let us start trading,” said Los.

Ukrainian businesses had asked to meet South African businesses in the following sectors: agro-industrial complex, the food industry, pharmaceuticals, engineering and automotive, the production of organic fertilisers and the ICT sector.

Makro was one of the South African businesses that made a presentation. Makro’s marketing manager in Durban Leanne Naidoo alerted the Ukrainian companies about a possible match they would make as a low-cost, low margin, retail and wholesale company.

Prana Recuperators was one of the Ukrainian businesses that sought to be part of the trade relations and investments in SA. Prana is a company that specialises in energy efficient technologies.

The event was facilitated by the Durban Chamber of Commerce chief executive Palesa Phili. She met an ambassador from the Ukraine late last year, reached out to a South African ambassador in Ukraine. They met and had talks about a mutually beneficial relationship that would enhance business opportunities for the two countries. “It was agreed that the trade relationship should be mutually beneficial to the Durban business community and the Ukrainian business community at large,” said Palesa.

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