According to Mr. Iqbal Sharma, Chief Director, International Trade at DTI, who is accompanying the delegation, “Government has identified biotechnology as a key growth area with the potential to improve the economic well being of South Africans – by developing new methods to treat problems such as diseases and crop failure due to drought, as well as supporting start ups for job creation.”
A delegate on the mission, Mr. Butana Mboniswa, CEO of BioPAD (a Biotechnology Regional Innovation Centre, which has invested over R200 million in biotechnology project in South Africa), says “We’re looking for US investors to partner us in some of the opportunities we’ve created.”
Another delegate, Mr. Sipho Moshoane, CEO of Ikhambi Health (which spans the marketing of pharmaceuticals, veterinary products, medical devices, clinical devices and pharmaceuticals manufacturing), says “South Africa offers key advantages to US investors. A stable working environment supported by world class infrastructure, a mix of highly skilled yet comparatively cheap labour, and a gateway to market medication and diagnostic equipment to Africa.”
Mr. Joe Molete, COO of Cape Biotech Trust, who is also part of the mission notes that the US offers South Africa a lot in return, “the US has a mature biotech sector, is spinning out a lot of start up companies, and has the necessary technology, financial capital and managers to help grow the sector in South Africa.”
In addition to promoting biotechnology, the public-private sector mission will visit New York, Chicago and Detroit to promote investment in the BPO, ICT, automotive and financial services sectors.
Iqbal Sharma, says that these five sectors were chosen “because that’s where we think the quickest bites will be.”
Margaret Dingalo, Stakeholder Relations Director at the International Marketing Council of South Africa (which has partnered with the DTI to host this Mission) “South Africa’s small but vibrant biotechnology sector is expected to grow significantly over the next few years. By 2014 we expect close to 40 start-up biotech companies, delivering more than 60 new products and services to be established. Our US investment drive showcases the boundless possibilities available to investors in South Africa. We believe that such initiatives will help achieve South Africa’s 6% growth target, as well as enhance our tourism, trade and investment prospects ahead of 2010.”
Itinerary and additional information
The South African delegation is in the USA from 17-23 March during which time its visiting New York, Detroit and Chicago.
Biotechnology companies that are part of the delegation include: Aloecap, Biopad, Cape Biotech Trust and Ikhambi Health.
Issued by: Meropa Communications
On behalf of the Department of Trade and Industry and the International Marketing Council of South Africa
For more information about the mission, or to schedule interviews, please contact: