Posted: November 9, 2021
The Deputy Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition, Ms Nomalungelo Gina has urged the South African businesses that will be participating in the second biennial Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF) in Durban next week to grab the opportunity to contribute in increasing intra-African trade and investment. The IATF will take place at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre from 15-21 November 2021 under the theme “Building Bridges for a Successful AfCFTA”. More than a thousand companies from across the continent are expected to showcase their products and services at the trade fair.
The seven-day African premier trade and investment exhibition will include a packed programme of conference sessions featuring key leading African and international thought leaders and experts. They will be sharing their insights on a wide range of topics relating to African trade and investments. The fair will also comprise dedicated sessions and training workshops covering exports, standards and marketing.
According to Deputy Minister Gina, the fair provides a perfect opportunity for the more than 80 South Africa companies supported by the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the dtic), as well as the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Government, to interact and connect with companies from the rest of the continent in order to do business that will lead to an increase in the intra-African trade and investment.
“As government we have a mandate and an obligation to grow the South African economy. One of the interventions to achieve this objective is to support our companies to participate in international exhibitions to facilitate market access for South African goods and services. By hosting the IAFT this year we have brought more than a thousand companies from different African countries for our businesspeople to establish links, partnerships and joint-ventures with. These should lead to more intra-African trade and investment in line with the goals of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement that is meant to create a massive and dynamic market for goods produced in the continent, as well as unlimited investment opportunities for the companies in the continent to grab,” says Gina.
According to the World Bank, the AfCFTA agreement has created the largest free trade area in the world measured by the number of countries participating. It has also established a market of 1.3 billion people from across 55 countries with a combined Gross Domestic Product of about US$3.4 trillion. According to the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa the AfCFTA has the potential to boost intra-African trade by more than fifty percent.
“It is business that is going to play a major role in ensuring that the objectives of the AfCFTA such as increasing the intra-African trade, promoting industrialisation, infrastructure development, creating jobs, and improving competitiveness of African industries on the global stage, are achieved. Initiatives like the IATF are important in bringing businesspeople operating in various sectors of the African economy together to showcase what they offer, and also to exchange ideas and information on trade and investment opportunities that they can explore together for the growth of the economy of the continent,” adds Gina.
The Premier of KwaZulu-Natal, Mr Sihle Zikalala says the province is excited and ready to host the 2021 Intra-African Trade Fair.
“The trade fair is expected to yield massive economic spin-offs for KwaZulu-Natal and the country as a whole. It will also attract high-level delegations including heads of state from the continent. We estimate that the IATF 2021 will attract 10 000 buyers and sellers, 1100 exhibitors, and will result in US$40 billion in trade deals. The hosting of this event also augurs well for our Economic Recovery and Reconstruction Plan. The calculated economic impact of hosting the event is expected to include a total direct spend of R235 million, R580 million contribution to the GDP, and an annualised employment contribution of 1 200,” adds Premier Zikalala.
For more information on the trade fair visit www.intrafricantradefair.com
KwaZulu-Natal Provincial government spokesperson
Mr Lennox Mabaso
Mobile: 082 884 2403