Angolan trade expo pays off for SA firm

24 July 2013

Durban-based Mpilende Foods, one of the 33 South African companies that took part in the 30th International Fair of Luanda Trade Exhibition, is on the verge of striking a multi-million rand deal with a United Arab Emirates food distribution firm, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) reports.

The South African delegation to the six-day trade exhibition in the Angolan capital, which ended on Sunday, was led by Deputy Trade and Industry Minister Elizabeth Thabethe.

According to the DTI, one of the visitors to the South African Pavilion was a representative of a Dubai-based company with a presence in Angola that trades in food commodities.

Mpilende Foods CEO Fundo Thango, commenting afterwards on his discussions with the representative, said the company “has committed to procure 50 containers of white and yellow maize mealie meal each from us every month for distribution throughout Africa.

“This is an equivalent of 80 000 25-kilogram bags of mealie meal every month. This is a really good deal, particularly as the transaction will be in US dollars,” Thango said in a DTI statement on Monday.

He said Mpilende Foods would await a response after samples of its products were taken to Dubai for testing.

“We have confidence in the quality of our products,” Thango said. “They will happily return with a positive answer and we are planning to travel to Dubai to seal the deal soon. The company representative also took samples of our maize-based instant cereal to try and establish if it could be good for their market before placing an order,” Thango added.

Minister Thabethe, speaking at the opening of the trade exhibition last week, said that trade between the two countries had increased significantly, with South African imports totalling more than R23-billion and exports almost R9-billion in 2012.

“Although the trade balance favours Angola, we are hoping that our businesspeople … will identify opportunities for trade and investments in the country so that we can increase the movements of our goods, services and investments this direction,” Thabethe said.

Thabethe said South African companies such as Shoprite, Standard Bank and South African Airways were successfully doing business in Angola, demonstrating that the market was ripe for South African investment.

SAinfo reporter