Thabethe will lead a business delegation on the first outward selling and investment mission to Benin from 9 to 14 September.
“The mission will also serve as an ideal opportunity for South African companies that would like to export value-added products and services, and for companies that are looking for investment opportunities in Benin,” said Thabethe on Wednesday.
Thabethe said the mission takes place within the context of South Africa’s strategic engagement with the rest of the continent that is aimed at supporting Africa’s economic revival, socioeconomic development and promoting intra-Africa trade.
Agro-processing, furniture and wood processing, infrastructure (rail, road and telecoms), built environment and mining and capital equipment are among the targeted sectors to the mission to the West African country.
The dti said the mission will expose South African companies to available trade and investment opportunities in Benin and allow South African companies an opportunity to interact and exchange business contacts with their Beninese counterparts with efforts to forge partnerships and joint ventures.
“It is important for South Africa to continue to pursue economic collaboration and partnership with African countries when crafting the way forward for sustainable economic development and the development of investment in the African region.
“Benin, like most countries in Africa, presents wealth of business opportunities for South African companies. By establishing their presence in this country, South African companies would be able to access other markets in West Africa region and Africa at large,” said Thabethe.
Benin’s domestic economy revolves around subsistence agriculture, which accounts for 35.5% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and is the main source of income for over half of the population.
Cotton is the main commercial crop and accounts for about 45% of foreign-exchange earnings.
The hydroelectric potential of the Mono River, which forms the border with Togo, is being developed, with the construction of dams for power generation and irrigation.
Mineral reserves, notably of marble, iron, and phosphate, are not fully exploited, and this presents an opportunity for investments, said the department.
Source: SA News – Press Release – 6 September 2012