ZIMBABWE and South Africa are committed to improving trade and investor relations in order to boost bi-lateral trade and co-operation between the two economies.
Nomalungela Gina, the South African Deputy Minister of Trade Industry and Economic Development Department said, in an interview on the side-lines of the Intra-African Fair (IATF 2021) currently underway in Durban, South Africa.
She said Zimbabwean companies had demonstrated their capacity to produce using local content.
“We are looking to make sure that we have a very strong relationship when it comes to trade with Zimbabwe. So we have agreed to continue talking to forge those relationships and ensure that our investors find it easier to go from South Africa to Zimbabwe and vice versa,” she said.
Gina said Zimbabwe had many quality products, travel bags and food stuffs, among many others, which showed there was a lot Africa can do so that it doesn’t rely on other countries outside of Africa.
“With my counterpart from Zimbabwe, the Deputy Minister of (Industry) and Commerce (in Zimbabwe), we have walked around and the products that are being showcased are wonderful, and one can confidently say indeed there is hope on what we can do in Africa,” she said.
At least 30 local companies are showcasing their products and services at the intra-African fair.
The IATF is a high-level fair that has been graced by 15 heads of state, including President Mnangagwa.
The fair provides a platform for international buyers, sellers and investors to share market information in support of intra-African trade.
The IATF this year will focus on the new African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), which provides local businesses with access to an African market with a combined Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of more than $ 2,5 trillion.
Industry and Commerce Deputy Minister Raj Modi said a lot of countries and investors have expressed interest in Zimbabwe.
“We have had very good interest from many countries which visited our stands. A lot of investors also expressed interest in relation to Zimbabwe,” he said.
Minister Modi noted that Zimbabwe has 30 different companies showcasing various products at the fair.
He said the companies have been facilitated by the country’s National Trade Development and Promotion Organisation, ZimTrade and the Zimbabwe Investment and Development Agency (ZIDA), an investment agency responsible for promoting and facilitation of both local and foreign investments.
The fair is hosted by Afreximbank in collaboration with the African Union and the Secretariat of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement.