SA/Tunisia Business Council on the cards to strengthen trade relations

Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Bulelani Magwanishe.

The establishment of a South Africa-Tunisia Business Council is on the cards to stimulate trade and investment between the two countries, according to the Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Bulelani Magwanishe.

He was speaking on the sidelines of an Outward Trade and Investment mission to Tunisia which kicked off on Sunday and concludes today (Thursday).

Magwanishe said the council would not only be focusing on trade and investment but would also facilitate skills transfer, industrialisation and infrastructure development.

Board Member of the Tunisian Union of Industry, Trade and Handcrafts, Abdesalem Loued, added: “Our association wants to forge relations with companies in South Africa through cooperation with the 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.”

Trade between South Africa and Tunisia remains low despite growing from R431 million in 2011 to more than R500m in 2017. “What stuck out like a sore thumb throughout our interaction with both the country’s business and government leaders since our arrival is the disconcertingly low levels of trade and investment between the two countries,” said Magwanishe.

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