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South Africa Trade Mission to Kuwait successful
December 3, 2013, 2:11 pm

H.E. Delarey Van Tonder, the Ambassador of the Republic of South Africa

Following the successful Third Africa Arab Summit hosted by the State of Kuwait and in accordance with the resolutions of the Kuwait Declaration calling for closer economic, trade and investment ties between Arab countries and African states, the South African Embassy in the State of Kuwait hosted a Trade and Investment Delegation aimed at strengthening commercial relations between the two countries.

The South African Trade Delegation consisted of officials from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Trade and Invest South Africa (TISA) and business entities from the food, chemicals and engineering sectors from South Africa's second largest province Kwa Zulu Natal. Fruitful business to business meetings were held under the auspices of the Kuwait Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, the Kuwait Union of Consumer Cooperative Societies (KUCCS), as well as Al Arfaj Group of Companies, Al Ghanim, the Sultan Centre, Carrefour, Kuwait Paints Company, Al Matrook Paints factory, the City Centre and Al Safat Gulf Company.

According to the South African Ambassador in Kuwait Delarey Van Tonder the visit was successful and most constructive in expanding trade and investment relations between our two countries.

"The State of Kuwait is perceived in a very positive manner in Africa through its technical assistance and support for Africa's developmental agenda. In particular, Kuwaiti investors in South Africa continue to invest profitably in especially the country's tourism infrastructure sector making South Africa a world class travel destination. Both countries have major national development strategies in place exceeding USD 100 billion respectively over the medium term. These plans offer enormous opportunities for closer cooperation in the sectors of engineering and construction, agro processing, mining and minerals, transportation, general infrastructure development, tourism and hospitality infrastructure and cooperation in the petrochemicals domain.

Ambassador Van Tonder concluded that Kuwait and South Africa as emerging economies with substantive natural resources will face challenges in future to diversify their economies and to shift to higher volumes of exports in value added products and beneficiation. "Economic growth as a percentage is deceptive if it cannot create new jobs, especially amongst the youth. Increasing value added exports can go a long way toward achieving this strategic objective."

Ambassador Van Tonder expressed high appreciation for the traditional Kuwaiti hospitality extended to the South African delegation during this stay. "We hope to reciprocate this and expand the constructive business relationship next year during a fact finding mission of Kuwaiti commercial enterprises to South Africa."

Bilateral agreements between South Africa and Kuwait in Economic and Trade cooperation were concluded in 2005.

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