DTI promotes intra-Africa trade

Tripartite Free Trade Area

Tripartite Free Trade Area

Pretoria – Supporting intra-Africa trade should be a matter of urgency, says Trade and Industry Deputy Minister Elizabeth Thabethe.

“The recently launched agreement for the establishment of the Tripartite Free Trade Area has made it more urgent to promote intra-Africa trade and that should be at the top of the continent’s economic agenda,” said Thabethe at the South Africa-Ghana Business Forum held in Cape Town on Wednesday.

The free trade area centres on building Africa’s biggest free trade bloc with the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa), East African Community (EAC) and Southern African Development Community (SADC).

“Strengthening trade and investment links with the continent is a key policy priority of the government, both to benefit our economy and more importantly, those of our partners on the continent,” said Thabethe.

She said African countries have the potential to develop into modern industrialised states due to their richness in natural resources that can compete on the world stage.

Meanwhile, the department, through Trade and Investment South Africa, signed a Memorandum of Understanding on investment and trade with the Ghanaian Investment Authority.

Since 2003, bilateral trade between the two countries has been growing, with annual trade statistics indicating South African exports to Ghana with the value of R2.523 billion and imports from Ghana worth R84.275 million. – BuaNews