PRETORIA, The South African Department of Trade and Industry (dti) will lead a trade and investment mission to Kenya and Tanzania from June 26 to 30 with the aim of increasing trade and investment between South Africa and the two countries.

A total of 27 local companies in the agro-processing, automotive, infrastructure, built environment, mining and capital equipment, chemicals, plastics and cosmetics sectors will be part of the mission, says Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies, who adds that the mission will strengthen the already cordial relations between South Africa and the two East African nations.

Furthermore, the missions will honour commitments made by President Jacob Zuma during the State visits to Kenya in October last year, and Tanzania last month, to strengthen relations and explore investment and trade opportunities in two countries, Davies said here Monday.

The Minister added that the investment mission was also in line with the dti’s strategic outcome-oriented goal of building mutually beneficial regional and global relations, in order to advance South Africa’s trade, industrial policy and economic development objectives.

Of the 27 companies which will participate in the mission, 20 have received assistance from the dti through its Export Marketing and Investment Assistance (EMIA) scheme, which aims, among other objectives, to increase export market access for South African products and services.

The programme for the mission will include business seminars, site visits, mini exhibitions, and business-to-business meetings. The mission will also enable South African companies to identify trade and investment opportunities in Kenya and Tanzania and provide a platform for the companies to interact with business people and consider ways in which co-operation, partnerships and joint-ventures can be established in order to explore these opportunities.

The mission is also part of the dti’s integrated national export strategy aimed at developing new markets for South Africa’s value-added and manufactured goods, and services with an emphasis on Africa and the emerging markets. The dti is happy to be providing a platform that will bring businesspeople from South Africa with their counterparts from the two countries together to discuss ways in which they can contribute meaningfully in increasing trade and investment between our countries, said Davies.