The Ambassador of South Africa in Algeria, Mr Dennis Dlomo said South Africa and Algeria must continue with economic diplomacy that will eventually address the trade imbalance between the two countries.
A twenty-two-member delegation of South African businesspeople has arrived in Algiers, Algeria, for the second leg of the Trade and Investment Mission that is being led by the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) from 4-6 October 2017.
Speaking at the welcoming session, the Ambassador of South Africa in Algeria, Mr Dennis Dlomo said South Africa and Algeria must continue with economic diplomacy that will eventually address the trade imbalance between the two countries.
Dlomo pointed out that economic relations between the two countries have grown and were continuing to expand, and that the bilateral political relations were favourable and conductive for businesses to explore trade and investment opportunities. He advised the SA business delegation to make sure that the business deals were mutually beneficial to both countries, albeit language barriers.
“South Africa and Algeria enjoy excellent bilateral co-operation bolstered by the creation of the South Africa-Algeria Bi-National Commission. Algeria has recently developed a strategy that seeks to create an environment that encourages private sector involvement, and this could be a platform for South African businesses to penetrate the Algerian market,” said Dlomo.
Algeria is South Africa’s largest trading partner in the region and bilateral trade has grown progressively over the last few years, therefore providing great potential to further enhance trade and investment co-operation.
South Africa and Algeria enjoy excellent bilateral co-operation bolstered by the creation of the South Africa-Algeria Bi-National Commission.
According to Dlomo the current trade balance is skewed in favour of South Africa and efforts should be doubled to address the imbalance. He said Algeria is an emerging economy with high growth potential, relatively diversified economy and a number of opportunities remain untapped in many sectors.
“Growth will continue on an upward trajectory for the next couple of years. The Algerian government identified the promotion of the private sector to take lead in industrialising the economy of the country, while the government would be putting in place conducive policy and regulatory environment,” said Dlomo.
Dlomo reiterated that South Africa’s commitment to the growth of Algeria, and wished the business delegation well as they prepared to engage with the Algerian business community.
Algeria is a gas rich country with its economy dependent mainly on hydro-carbon export but now it 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 in the period from 2011 to 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 and Investment Mission was in Tunisia, were South Africa-Tunisia Business Forum was held. The forum was attended by businesspeople from South Africa and Tunisia.