The High Commissioner of South Africa to Mozambique, Mandisi Mpahlwa says South Africa is committed to increasing a two-way trade between South Africa and Mozambique.
Mpahlwa was speaking during the South Africa-Mozambique business networking session that was hosted by the South African Embassy in Maputo recently. The session was attended by businesspeople from South Africa who participated in the Maputo International Trade Fair, FACIM, as well as key stakeholders from the Mozambican business community and government.
“It is important for businesspeople in our countries to recognise that the bilateral relationship between SA and Mozambique is not just about opportunities for the South African companies in Mozambique, but it is also about opportunities for Mozambican businesspeople in the South African economy. We are committed to ensuring that there is growth in trade in both directions. Even though the trade balance is still heavily skewed in favour of SA, we are happy that there has been a huge growth of Mozambican exports to South Africa over a period of time,” said Mpahlwa.
Total bilateral trade between South Africa and Mozambique totalled R43.6 billion in 2016 with trade balance amounting to R23.4bn in favour of South Africa. However, Mozambican exports to South Africa have increased from R3.8bn in 2010 to R10.1bn in 2016, while SA exports to the neighbouring country increased from R13.7bn to R33.5bn in the same period.
“The consistent and noticeable increase of Mozambican exports to South Africa is a positive trend that we need to work together even more to make sure that it is continuing. South Africa is a huge market and there are opportunities that are available there for the Mozambican companies to take advantage of. As we interact with the Mozambican business community through platforms like FACIM, there is a lot that businesspeople from the two countries can benefit from learning about each other’s economies so that opportunities are identified in both countries. Partnerships and joint ventures that should result from these interactions will ensure that trade continues to increase in both directions,” added Mpahlwa.
Mpahlwa also said that SA’s annual participation in FACIM helps to achieve a multiplicity of objectives that speak to the broader African Agenda.
“First of all we are neighbours, and through these kinds of platforms we are able to enhance that neighbourliness. We are also working together to achieve the objectives of the Southern African Development Community, which is committed to deepening integration across the spectrum, be it infrastructure, trade, political, social, trade or business. This is also another mechanism of achieving the broader African agenda of promoting and increasing intra-Africa trade,” stressed Mpahlwa.
FACIM is an international multi-sectoral trade fair held annually to showcase Mozambique as an attractive destination for trade and investment.
The participation of the twenty SA companies in the popular exhibition, was made possible by the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) through its Export Marketing and Investment Assistance (EMIA) scheme with the aim of increasing exports of South African manufactured products to Mozambique. The objective of the scheme is to develop export markets for South African products and services and to recruit new foreign direct investment into the country.