8 May 2013
South Africa and Algeria have agreed to speed up the establishment of a joint trade and investment committee to engage with the public and private sectors of both countries to do more business between them.
The agreement followed a meeting between South African Deputy Trade and Industry Minister Elizabeth Thabethe and Algerian Trade Minister Mustapha Benbada in Algiers on Monday.
Thabethe said the committee would allow senior officials from both countries to discuss and agree on a programme of trade and investment projects to pursue.
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has proposed that the committee focus initially on agriculture, infrastructure, industry and investment.
“Each of these sectors are key job drivers, and I believe if both countries concentrate on these sectors a lot can be accomplished and mutually beneficial business linkages can be created,” Thabethe said.
She also encouraged Algerian companies to invest in South Africa, especially in projects related to the country’s multi-billion rand state-led infrastructural drive.
Thabethe was in Algeria with a delegation of South African businesspeople on an export promotion mission.
Benbada said that he appreciated Thabethe’s initiative in undertaking the mission, and welcomed the move to strengthen trade and investment relations with South Africa.
According to the DTI, Algeria was South Africa’s leading north African export destination between 2008 and 2012, with total exports of R8.1-billion outweighing imports of R672-million over the period.