Reconstruction of Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) economy presents opportunities for South African businesses – Deputy Minister Elizabeth Thabethe
16 Jun 2012
The commitment and determination of the government of Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to establish a conducive business climate in the country as part of the post-conflict reconstruction and development programme means that there will never be a more opportune time for South African companies to invest in the country. Deputy Minister Elizabeth Thabethe was reflecting on the first leg of an eight-day two-city Investment and Trade Initiative (ITI) which started with a business seminar in Kinshasa on Thursday. She is leading a business delegation of South African companies.
This ITI is part of the Department of Trade and Industry's export and investment promotion strategy that focuses on targeted high growth markets with the objective of creating investment and export opportunities for South African companies and promoting South Africa as a trade and investment destination.
Thabethe says she was impressed by the huge number of business people who attended the seminar.
“It showed there is a greater hunger and enthusiasm from the Congolese businesspeople to do business with South Africans. Business people from both sides were overwhelmed by the amount of opportunities that are available for investment in both countries and these were outlined in the seminar. Our role as government is to ensure that we assist these companies to expose them to these myriad and massive investment opportunities that are abundant in the whole of Africa and other parts of the world’.
Thabethe indicated that since early 2000, the South African private investments in the DRC have been constituted by projects in sectors such as mining, retail, tourism and financial services.
“The total value of South Africa’s private investments in the DRC has been estimated to the value of R5.7 billion. These projects have immensely contributed to the creation of more than 2500 jobs in strategic sectors. The continued effort by the Government of the DRC on improving their regulatory environment is worthy and commendable. This has indeed made increased economic growth possible and has also increased the attention and interest of our development finance institutions and the private sector in partnering with the businesspeople of the DRC,” she said.
The Deputy Minister emphasised that the South African business people could not have asked for more when it comes to the DRC.
“The onus is now on businesspeople to concretise potential deals that have been discussed during the business-to-business meetings with their Congolese counterparts. I was also impressed by the positive feedback that I got from our business people at the end of the two-day exhibition which was part of the ITI,” said Thabethe
Thabethe also held bilateral meetings with three of DRC’s Ministers and the Deputy Minister. These are Ministers of Public Enterprises, Ms Louise Munga Mesozi, Economic Affairs and Trade Mr Jean Paul Begepole, Industry Mr Remy Musungayi Bampale, and Deputy Finance Minister, Roger Shulungu Runika
The South African delegation will be leaving Kinshasa for Lubumbashi tomorrow for the second leg of the ITI starting with a business seminar and exhibition in the Congolese financial hub on Monday.
Sidwell Medupe, Departmental Spokesperson
Cell: 079 492 1774
Tel: 012 394 1650
Issued by: Department of Trade and Industry
16 Jun 2012
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