SA, Nigeria: ‘still huge business potential’

4 December 2013

While trade and investment between South Africa and Nigeria had increased substantially since 1999, there was still potential to build on this, Deputy Trade and Industry Minister Elizabeth Thabethe told a seminar in Abuja, Nigeria on Monday.

The seminar was part of a three-day outward selling and investment mission to Abuja and Lagos which was organised by the South Africa’s Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

“South Africa recognises the need to further strengthen our trade and economic ties, hence this mission, to give our business people an opportunity to engage.”

Thabethe said Nigeria was one of South Africa’s most important trading partners on the continent because of its strategic location, large population and massive natural resources.

She said that, since 2003, South Africa companies and organisations had initiated 28 large-scale foreign direct investment projects in Nigeria, together amounting to R35.3-billion in investment, which had created an estimated 5 500 jobs.

“There are other planned big investments that are yet to enter the Nigerian market, and judging by the way the current investments are doing, these projects will contribute immensely to the Nigerian economy.”

Thabethe encouraged Nigerian businesspeople to take advantage opportunities to invest in South Africa.

Louis Mnguni, South Africa’s High Commissioner to Nigeria, told the seminar that the partnership between the two countries should focus on the economic upliftment of the continent. Economic growth was meaningless, he said, if it was not translated into the development of people in both countries.

Thabethe was accompanied on her trip by a delegation of South African business people involved in agriculture, engineering, renewable energy, information and communication technology, mining and chemicals.

SAinfo reporter