Deputy Minister Thabethe says South Africa and Cameroon are to Establish Joint Trade Committee
27 Jan 2012The Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Ms Elizabeth Thabethe, says that there is a need to address the exploitation of the crafters. She was speaking at the third edition of the International Handicrafts Exhibition held in Cameroon.
Thabethe says that Africa must begin to address with all frankness the challenge of exploitation of intellectual property of the handicrafts, and how it gets to be protected.
‘This means infusing certain technologies in moving our production output to a higher level as such exhibitions continue to open new markets for us. As such, as crafters, we are mindful of the need to move beyond just production and selling in our small corners, but to take our work to international level. This comes with its own challenges, which is why it is important to organise ourselves much better to meet the possible demands of higher production output,’ she added.
The Deputy Minister is leading a group of handicrafts exhibitors to the International Handicrafts Exhibition that started on 23 January and will end on 3 February 2012, to showcase their products and services to the Central Africa market. Among these exhibitors are cooperatives, funded by the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti). The exhibition also offers an opportunity for an exchange of skills and innovative advances by the craftsmen and women who are participating.
Thabethe also said that South Africa has identified Cameroon as a strategic partner because its economy presents enormous trade and investment opportunities for South African business. She said the relations of the two countries will be enhanced later by the establishment of the Joint Trade Committee.
‘The two countries are further moving to establish the Joint Trade Committee aimed at mapping interventions to accelerate bilateral economic cooperation. This seeks to address trade imbalance between our two countries by leveraging on agreements that we have, and building on the opportunities for investments’, she added.
Thabethe mentioned that South Africa shall continue to strengthen economic relations with Cameroon aimed at advancing the countries developmental agenda in the rest of Africa. According to her, key sectors offering profitable economic opportunities in Cameroon have been identified.
The visit by the South African delegation to Cameroon is a continuous programme of deepening bilateral relations between the two countries. It also builds on previous engagements and exchanges of government and business delegations. In December last year, Deputy Minister Thabethe led a delegation of small and medium enterprises (SME) to the Promote 2011 International Trade Fair in December last year.
Sidwell Medupe (Departmental Spokesperson)
Tel: (012) 394 1650
Mobile: 079 492 1774
Issued by: Department of Trade and Industry
27 Jan 2012
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