Tunisia-South Africa Business Council to boost trade and investment

TUNISIA DM TUESDeputy minister Magwanishe with the president of the Tunis Chamber of Commerce and Industries Mournir Mouakhar during their meeting in Tunisia. (Image source: the dti)Tunisia and South Africa are keen to establish the joint South Africa-Tunisia Business Council, aiming to stimulate trade and investment opportunities between the countries

Bulelani Magwanishe, deputy minister of trade and industry in South Africa, said that he has received assurance of the Tunisian businesspeople to set up the initiative.

Magwanishe visited several Tunisian business associations in Tunis on the second day of the Outward Trade and Investment Mission to Tunisia organised by the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti).

“We recognise that the critical stakeholders that are in a position to change the status quo that we are worried about are businesspeople from South Africa and Tunisia. This is the reason why we have embarked on a serious engagement with the Tunisian private sector so that we can get the ball rolling to bring them in contact with their South African counterparts in order to do business,” said Magwanishe.

During the meetings, Tunisian business associations expressed their desire and keenness to work with the South African business chambers and associations to contribute to increasing trade and investment between South Africa and Tunisia.

They all indicated that the starting point would be the establishment of a joint business council that would facilitate interaction and exchange of information among the businesspeople with the aim of identifying opportunities to jointly explore for investment and trade purposes.

“We have member companies that have invested in other countries and we are confident that they will be interested in investing in South Africa as well if we manage to set up the appropriate platforms and connections that will enable us to share information on what is available here in South Africa in terms of investment and trade opportunities,” commented Abdesalem Loued, board member of the Tunisian union of industry, trade and handicrafts.

The president of the Tunis Chamber of Commerce and Industries Mournir Mouakhar extended support to mobilise its members to work towards increasing his country’s trade and investment with South Africa.

“We are also looking at the development of business relations among South African, Tunisian and French companies. The fact that Tunisia has become a member of Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa means that businesspeople in the two regions will be able to work closely together and contribute in stimulating intra-Africa trade and investment,” added Mouakhar.

The president of the Tunisia-Africa Business Council Bassem Loukil said that opportunities were available for Tunisian and South African companies to explore together in the automotive, pharmaceutical, agriculture and tourism sectors of the Tunisian economy.

“Our focus is on the intra-African trade and investment, as well as assisting African companies to expand their market to Europe,” added Loukil.

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