South African businessmen storm Nigeria in search of more investment opportunities
Posted by News Express | 24 September 2016 | 2,807 times
South Africa’s Department of Trade and Industry is due to lead a business mission to Nigeria aimed at identifying trade and investment opportunities.
The five-day mission, which starts on Sunday, September 25, 2016, will be led by the CEO of the recently launched initiative, Trade Invest Africa (TIA), Lerato Mataboge. Also part of the mission will be officials from the department’s Black Industrialists Programme and representatives of Plastics SA, an industry body.
The mission follows Presidents Jacob Zuma’s state visit to Nigeria in March and signifies a thaw in relations which were strained, especially under former president Goodluck Jonathan.
Trade and Industry minister Rob Davies said on Thursday the aim of the mission is to establish relations in order to better position South African business for opportunities that are of mutual benefit to both countries.
“Through the support of black-owned entities in the manufacturing sector, the business mission to Nigeria aims to enhance the efforts of the Black Industrialists Programme and ensure that the support for black industrialists increases in order to improve their participation in the manufacturing industry,” said Davies.
South Africa and Nigeria are also considered to be the leading economies on the African continent. Total trade between these countries accumulated to R220bn from 2011 to 2015.
Earlier this month S&P Global Ratings downgraded Nigeria as result of its economy weakening more than expected owing to a marked contraction in oil production, a restrictive foreign exchange policy and delayed fiscal stimulus.
Davies said Plastics SA had identified Nigeria as an important market for the growth of the South African plastics industry and TIA was aiming to facilitate increased access to the Nigerian market.
Other sectors targeted by the mission include infrastructure, energy, agro-processing, chemicals and the automotive industry.
News Express reports that a number of South African companies have in the past few years become dominant in the Nigerian business space. Foremost among them are telecommunications giant MTN and retail conglomerate Shoprite, which is spreading across Africa’s most populous country at lightning speed.
•Adapted from a Business Day (South Africa) report. Photo shows TIA CEO Lerato Mataboge.