Building capacity to help Africa trade better

Minister Davies launches one-stop shop to support intra-Africa trade


Minister Davies launches one-stop shop to support intra-Africa trade

Minister Davies launches one-stop shop to support intra-Africa trade
Photo credit: dti

A one-stop shop to support intra-Africa trade and intra-Africa investments has been launched by the Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies in Pretoria on Friday. The one-stop shop, which is called Trade Invest Africa (TIA) will provide support to South African businesses doing business in the rest of Africa as outlined in the Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP).

According to Minister Davies, Trade Invest Africa will bring together all support programmes including incentives in order to build strong partnerships with business. He said the name Trade Invest Africa emanated from the approach of having trade which is driven by investment.

Minister Davies said the rest of Africa presents great opportunities for South African companies. He encouraged South African companies to invest in the other African countries.

“We need to build on our investment capacity and promote trade through investment. We already have a number of South African companies who are some of the largest investors in other parts of the South African continent, and therefore we want to drive an investment led African trade initiative even though we will still be maintaining the normal trade promotion activities. Investing in the rest of Africa in manufacturing and infrastructure will support the industrialization objectives that many African countries have set for themselves, and we would like to make a meaningful contribution to our partners’ objectives,” he added.

Davies said South Africa was following the Development Integration approach in order to strengthen regional integration and create a larger market. He said South Africa was already a trade partner a lot of African counties and therefore intra-Africa trade was important to ensure integration and economic growth among African countries.

Trade Invest Africa as well at the Guidelines for good business practice for companies operating in the rest of Africa were launched and signed by representatives of government and business at the Roundtable Discussions organized by the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti).

Speaking on the guidelines, Minister Davies said when South African companies operate in other African countries, their conduct reflected and carried the brand of South Africa in addition to their individual companies. He emphasised the need for South African companies to be good citizens when doing business in other countries. Davies also added that this was the reason for developing the Guidelines for good business practice for companies doing business in other parts of the African continent.

“Although these are signed on a voluntary basis, we want to encourage South African businesses to sign the Code of Conduct and align themselves to it. Signing this code means we can also tell our counterparts in other countries that these companies are aligned with our code,” he said.

Speaking at the same event, the Board Director of New Partnership for Africa’s Development Business Foundation (NBF) Mr Gregory Nott congratulated the dti for launching Trade Invest Africa. He said the initiative demonstrated foresight and created an enabling business environment which is conducive for closer collaborative efforts between the public and private sector.

“With NBF operating in over 21 African countries, I can attest to the difficulties of successfully implementing an African growth strategy. Much of the success or failure of operating in Africa is hinged on the softer issues that include government support, governance issues, as well as the attitudes and behavior of businesses as they expand into other territories,” said Nott.

He highlighted the importance of support from the country of origin and said that he hoped that the guidelines would not only support South African businesses expansion into Africa, but also understand and assimilate better into partnering and doing business in the African environment.


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