SA open for more business with Chile
8 March 2015
Pretoria - International Relations and Cooperation Deputy Minister Luwellyn Landers used his visit to Chile to bolster South Africa’s standing as a viable and stable investment destination, saying the country is open for business.
“South Africa is always open for business with every economic sector and a wide range of opportunities awaiting international investors,” Deputy Minister Landers told the economic seminar in Santiago this weekend.
The Deputy Minister was in Chile as part of his three-leg visit to South American countries to boost trade and bilateral relations. He also visited Uruguay and will conclude his visit in Columbia.
He told the seminar that over the years, representatives of the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) have visited Chile to explore opportunities for further expansion of South African exports to Chile and potential Chilean investments in South Africa.
A key highlight was the successful selling mission from South Africa to Chile during the second half of 2014.
“We have also created momentum for increased political consultations and economic consultations,” he said, touching on President Jacob Zuma’s planned visit to Chile.
“Yet there is much work to be done still.”
He said the Embassy of South Africa, the Directorate General of International Economic Relations of Chile (DIRECON), the Chile-South Africa Chamber of Commerce and South African related businesses operating in Chile, through their various activities, are expected to realise substantial growth in bilateral trade in the next years.
Chile and South Africa will also continue to pursue opportunities in various countries by reciprocally attending trade fairs and shows.
Deputy Minister Landers vowed to put the pursuit of economic diplomacy at the core of diplomatic relations so the two countries can address the triple challenge of poverty, unemployment and inequality.
“We are indeed looking forward to consolidating our economic relationship with one of South America’s strongest economies and expanding trade relations in future,” he said.
South Africa is Chile's largest trading partner in Africa, while South Africa is the biggest investor in Chile's mining sector.
The biggest area of trade between South Africa and Chile is capital goods for mining.
The two countries have a Joint Trade and Investment Committee to address all trade-related matters between the two countries.
Bilateral relations are conducted through the Joint Consultative Mechanism (JCM), which is conducted at deputy ministerial level.
The JCM continues to serve a constructive purpose in the on-going political dialogue between the two countries at bilateral, regional and multilateral levels.
It is against this backdrop that Deputy Minister Landers, during his visit, co- chaired the 5th JCM meeting with his Chilean counterpart, Acting Deputy Minister Alfredo Labbe.