South Africa Deputy Minister for Trade and Industry, Mr. Bulelani Magwanishe has received the assurance from the Tunisian business people that they are committed to the South Africa-Tunisia joint venture. Magwanishe used the second day of the Outward Trade and Investment Mission to Tunisia Organized by the Department of Trade and Industry ( the dti ) to visit several at Tunisian business associations in Tunis.

“We are in Tunisia with a business delegation for the trade and investment mission and what we have seen in our business and government leaders since our arrival is the disconcertingly low levels of trade and investment between the two countries. As government, we recognize that the critical stakeholders 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 we have embarked on the Tunisian private sector so that we can get in touch with their South African counterparts in order to do business, “said Magwanishe.

During the meetings, Tunisian business associations and their desire to work with the South African business chambers and associations to contribute to the increasing trade and investment between SA and Tunisia. They are all positioned at the establishment of a joint business council that would facilitate interaction and exchange of information with regard to the opportunities for joint investment for trade and trade purposes. Magwanishe said the council would not only focus on trade but also facilitate transfer, industrialization and infrastructure development.

“We are amenable to the idea of establishing a joint business council as the first priority. Our association wants to work with companies in South Africa through cooperation with local business associations or chambers there. 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 do so. South Africa in terms of investment and trade opportunities, “said the Board Member of the Tunisian Union of Industry, Trade and Handcrafts, Mr. Abdesalem, Loued during his meeting with Magwanishe.

President of the Tunisia Chamber of Commerce and Industries, Mr. Mournir Mouakhar, also his association’s commitment to mobilize its members to work on increasing his country’s trade and investment with SA.

“We support the formation of a business council that we will use as a vehicle to promote trade and investment, but we are looking at a sector-specific approach as a starting point of identifying investment and trade opportunities that we can explore together. 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 the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa means that businesspeople in the two regions will be able to work together in stimulating intra-Africa trade and investment, “added Mouakhar.

The President of the Tunisia-Africa Business Council, Mr. Bassem Loukil, the opportunities were available for Tunisian and South African companies in the automotive, pharmaceutical, and agriculture 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. We are excited about the proposed South African businesspeople in order for us to work together and increase trade and investment among the African Continent, “added Loukil.