South Africa’s Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) will lead a 29-strong business delegation to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) for the 8th Investment and Trade Initiative (ITI).

According to a dti statement on Tuesday, the five-day ITI will take place in Kinshasa and Lubumbashi from November 6-11, with the aim of increasing exports of South African value-added goods to the DRC market.

The Minister of Trade and Industry, Rob Davies said the objective of the ITI is also to increase bilateral trade and investment between South Africa and the DRC. 

He added that the ITI will afford South African companies the opportunity to interface with their Congolese counterparts in an endeavour to forge partnerships and joint-ventures.

“South Africa and DRC have the potential to trade at an optimal level in different sectors of the economy, especially beneficiation and manufacturing. 

There is still work that needs to be done in terms of further strengthening commercial and investment relations and focusing on new collaboration and trade partnerships in key areas of the economies of the markets, and we are optimistic that the ITI will provide that platform,” said Davies.

Sectors targeted for the ITI are agro-processing, the built environment, mining capital equipment, energy, chemicals, pharmaceuticals and medical equipment. The programme for the ITI will include business seminars, roundtable discussions, site visits and business-to-business meetings.

According to the department, bilateral trade between South Africa and the DRC increased from R8 billion in 2011 to R12.7 billion in 2016.

– African News Agency