South Africa and Algeria are working towards building lasting economic partnerships.
Addressing a business forum that was held in Algiers in the North African country, South Africa’s Ambassador to Algeria, Dennis Dlomo, said the two countries are working methodically to translate political partnerships into tangible actions in various areas of economic cooperation.
“Today is a manifestation of aspirations that we have had for a long time. The past three years have seen an increase in visits and engagements by South African business delegations to Algeria.
“This year, we have had several engagements, a sign that all interactions are positive, increasing in frequency and number, and the quality has also improved,” said Dlomo.
The Department of Trade and Industry (dti) is leading a delegation of local companies on a trade and investment mission. The mission serves to promote South African products and service offerings, while creating partnerships between the business communities.
The Vice President of the International Relations of Forum des Chefs d’enterprises, Mehdi Bendimerad, said while Algeria has outstanding diplomatic and political relations with South Africa, these relations have not yielded impressive results on the economic front.
“We call on South African companies to continue their efforts to intensify relations with Algerian companies. Our conviction is that partnerships can develop and be sustainable if direct contact is organised.
“Today’s economic meeting takes place in a national context marked by the implementation of numerous reforms aimed at diversifying the Algerian market, and an opportunity for South African businesspeople to explore cooperation and partnerships,” said Bendimerad.
Export Promotion Director at the dti, Seema Sardha, said South Africa views Algeria as a strategic partner, with the cornerstone of the interactions being premised on the Bi-National Commission.
She said the aim is to advance trade and investment relations between the two countries, and to have discussions that will yield positive and beneficial results for both countries.
The 20-member business delegation arrived in the gas rich country on the second leg of the trade and investment mission on Wednesday.
Algeria has an economy that is dependent mainly on hydro-carbon exports. The country wants to diversify its markets by exploring its potential in the mining, agro-processing and infrastructure sectors.
Algeria has been South Africa’s largest export trading partner in the North Africa region, having accounted for 43% of SA’s total trade with North Africa between 2011 and 2015.
The value of trade between the two countries reached over R13.4 billion, from 2011 to 2015. South African exports were estimated at R13 billion, while imports from Algeria were R463 million.
The first leg of the delegation’s trade mission got underway on Sunday in Tunisia. – SAnews.gov.za