SOUTH Africa was committed to increasing trade and addressing the trade imbalance with Zambia.
This was according to South Africa's Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies, ahead of a two-day Outward Trade and Investment Mission to Lusaka, Zambia, from 24-25 July.
Twenty South African companies funded by the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) will participate in the mission.
Davies said the mission would assist the department with contributing towards South African’s objectives of regional integration by strengthening economic relations between the two countries. The mission also aims to advance the commitments made in December last year by the Heads of State of both countries during the state visit to South Africa by Zambia President Edgar Lungu, where both countries agreed to deepen bilateral trade and investment relations.
Zambia is one of South Africa's top five trade partners in the Southern African Development Community region with total bilateral trade amounting to R33 billion in 2016.
"Platforms of this nature afford us the opportunity to not only consolidate political ties, but also to create the much-needed value-chains, skills and technology transfer and employment generation required to give effect to our economic ambitions, both in South Africa and Zambia," said Davies.
According to Davies, the mission would further enable South African companies to interact with leading private sector entities from agro-processing, agribusiness, infrastructure, advanced manufacturing, energy, services, tourism infrastructure development and mining and capital equipment.
"The mission will also present an ideal platform for South African companies who would like to export value-added products, and services, as well as companies which are looking for joint-venture partnerships in Zambia."
The mission will be addressed by the South African High Commissioner to Zambia, Sikose Mji and the Zambian High Commissioner to South Africa, Emmanuel Mwamba, amongst others. The programme for the mission will be comprised of a trade and investment seminar, business-to-business meetings, round-table discussions and sector-specific site visits.
African News Agency (ANA)