Pretoria – A business delegation led by the Department of Trade and Industry (dti) has arrived in Russia to participate in the 6th Investment and Trade Initiative (ITI).
The week-long ITI, which starts today, will commence with investment seminars, business-to-business meetings with potential importers and visits to various business sites to learn how Russians conduct their business.
Welcoming the delegation, which consists of manufacturers and emerging exporters in the agro-processing and food-related sectors, South Africa’s Ambassador to Russia Mandisi Mpahlwa said it was a good time for the companies to visit Russia.
He said Russia was looking to establish new relationships with suppliers of food products.
“We are taking the opportunities presented and are fulfilling the cooperation signed by President Jacob Zuma and President Vladimir Putin for South Africa and Russia to deepen relations and cooperate with each other,” said Mpahlwa.
He said Russia was trying to boost its local production but at the same time attract new suppliers to ensure that the food security needs of its citizens are met.
Mpahlwa encouraged the South African delegation to learn as much as they can about the market. The ITI has attracted huge interest from the Russian business community.
The Head of Investment Promotion at the dti, Yunus Hoosen, who is also leading the delegation, told the businesspeople that Russia is an important market in terms of its membership in BRICS.
He said the South African government has made inroads in Russia to allow for increased trade between the two countries.
“Working together with the Russian Federation, we have been able to unlock the seafood and fruit protocols in this market. South Africa has a strategic partnership with the country as Russia is looking to it as a source of products,” he said.
Hoosen said Russia is a dynamic market both economically and politically.