South African exporters and companies in the agro-processing, capital equipment, energy and furniture sectors will show off their wares while on an Outward Trade and Investment Mission (OTIM) to Uganda.
The OTIM, which is organised by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), will get underway on Sunday. “The mission will also introduce South African exporters to the Ugandan market, with the aim of assisting them to gain entry into this market, identify trade and investment opportunities, and generate export sales,” said Trade and Industry (DTI) Minister Rob Davies.
Speaking ahead of the OTIM, Davies said the mission will contribute positively in strengthening bilateral economic relations between South Africa and the East African state. The mission is organised and funded by the DTI through its Export Marketing and Investment Assistance Scheme (EMIA).
The objective of the scheme is to develop markets for South African exporters and services and to recruit new foreign direct investment into the country. More than 1 000 companies were assisted through the scheme in the last financial year.
The Minister said Uganda is a strategic partner to South Africa within the East African region, where the country enjoys sound political and economic relations that are managed through several bilateral agreements.
“More significantly, Uganda enjoys a unique location at the heart of Sub-Saharan Africa, which makes it accessible to the Central and East African markets, including the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA). This makes the country a viable market for business because it has the potential to be a transportation, logistics and transit hub for regional trade and investment,” said Davies.
The mission is part of South Africa’s economic strategy for Africa, which is premised on implementing an outward investment-led trade approach that will result in two-way trade and investment to benefit both South Africa and its trading partners in the rest of the continent.
“The mission is aligned to our mandate of increasing intra-African trade and investment in line with the objectives of the Continental Free Trade Agreement,” said Davies.
Uganda is South Africa’s second largest export trading partner in East Africa, making it an important trade and investment partner for South Africa’s economic relations with the East Africa region.
The total value of bilateral trade between South Africa and Uganda amounted to R2.09 billion in 2018, with a trade surplus in favour of South Africa. South Africa’s exports to Uganda totalled R1.99 billion in 2018, while SA’s imports from Uganda were valued at R102 million in the same year.
The mission will conclude on 24 May.
Source: The South African (17 May 2019)