Businesspeople from South Africa and Côte d’Ivoire have committed to rolling up their sleeves and working double tides to ensure that the volume of trade and level of investments between two countries increase significantly.

This commitment was given to the President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa, and President Alassane Ouattara of Côte d’Ivoire, during the presidential session of the South Africa-Côte d’Ivoire Trade and Investment Business Forum hosted by the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the dtic) in Pretoria yesterday.

The objective of the forum was to provide South African and Ivorian companies with a strategic platform and opportunity to engage on bilateral trade and investment opportunities in both markets, while simultaneously affording them access  to senior decision-makers and stakeholders.

The theme of the forum, which was part of the State Visit to South Africa President  Ouattara, was Accelerating Trade and Investments between South Africa and Côte d’Ivoire through Strengthened Partnerships.

Reporting to the two presidents on the outcomes of the business forum, the Chairperson of Ario (a SA engineering firm) Dr Ramatsemela Masango, said businesspeople from the two countries had committed to working together to develop and implement an ambitious 24-months Joint Work Programme, to increase bilateral trade between the two countries; substantially increase the levels of bilateral investments; and to facilitate the establishment of joint-ventures and strategic partnerships between South African and Ivorian firms to access their existing regional economic community markets and new markets across the continent in the context of the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement.

“The forum took note of the commitment of our two governments to enhance trade and investment relations, and expressed its unequivocal support to translate the outcomes of this forum into concrete actions. The forum noted the importance of trade and investment as a tool for international engagements and lauded cordial and friendly diplomatic relations that South Africa and Côte d’Ivoire enjoy in this regard,” said Masango.

She added that the forum called for concerted efforts by all social partners to increase the volume of trade and levels of investment during the next 12 to 18 months in order to create and sustain jobs, improve the livelihoods of the citizens of the two countries, particularly women and youth, and ensure inclusive growth.

“We call upon the governments of the two countries to work seamlessly to improve the environment for doing business within and between the two countries. This they should do by addressing tariff and non-tariff barriers that continue to impede higher levels of trade between the two countries; and by facilitating and supporting more frequent business to business interactions and networking as a means to build confidence, forge strategic partnerships and clear the way for deal making,” added Masango.

She also announced that the businesspeople had agreed to constitute a South Africa-Côte d’Ivoire joint working group that will work closely with both governments to remove impediments to higher levels of trade and investment between the two countries; and to mobilise adequate resources to accelerate the development and implementation of bankable projects.

Bongani Lukhele – Director: Media Relations
Tel: (012) 394 1643
Mobile: 079 5083 457
WhatsApp: 074 2998 512
Issued by: The Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the dtic)
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