Zambian trade mission

A SOUTH African business delegation has arrived in Lusaka, Zambia, to participate in an Outward Selling Mission (OSM), said the Department of Trade and Industry (dti).

Welcoming the delegation to Zambia on Monday, South African High Commissioner to Zambia, Sikose Miji, said small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Zambia are enthusiastic to form partnerships with South African businesses.

She added that small businesses were thriving in Zambia and were the backbone of that country’s economy. This, she noted, provided an ideal opportunity for partnerships between the South African and Zambian entrepreneurs.

“The enthusiasm of these SMEs offers the South African businesspeople a platform to partner and form joint ventures. We anticipate having a fruitful mission as the Zambian business community has shown great interest in the mission,” said Mji.

Mji said the time to export raw material and import finished goods was over.

“Now is the time to forge relationships, cooperate with local businesses and beneficiate our raw materials. This will lead to a reduction in the trade deficit between South Africa and Zambia in a long run,” she said.

Director of Export Promotion at the dti, Dr Julius Nyalunga, described Zambia as the perfect market for the South African firms.

“Zambia has had one of the world’s fastest growing economies for the past ten years, with real Gross Domestic Product growth averaging roughly 5.5% per annum. This clearly shows they are doing something right,” said Nyalunga.

He added that African countries needed to acknowledge the importance of economic diversification and establishment of regional value chains, while increasing intra-regional trade and expanding markets within the regions and continent.

The mission, which starts today, will consist of business seminar, business-to-business meetings, round-table discussions and site visits.