South Africa wants to do business with Cebuanos

·3 min read

SOUTH African Ambassador to the Philippines Radebe Netshitenzhe has invited Cebu business owners to explore doing business with their counterparts in the southernmost African nation.

The lady envoy met with officials of the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) on Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020.

Netshitenzhe discussed with CCCI officials the economy of South Africa and its booming industries.

In response, CCCI president Virgilio Espeleta also raised the need for Cebu to diversify its markets to as far as Africa, for instance.

“This is a good start,” Espeleta said of the Thursday meeting, which should pave the way for prospective collaborations moving forward.

CCCI officials also raised that unfavorable trade route is one challenging factor in doing business with the African market.

“We also see the need to be able to diversify our markets and see the other parts of the world, like Africa,” Espeleta said.

South Africa continues to be the top foreign direct investment destination in sub-Saharan Africa and is ranked 25th globally.

It also ranked fourth most attractive investment destination in Africa based on the economic growth and ease of doing business.

In Cebu, Espeleta said South African investors may also look into the booming industries in Cebu province such as tourism, furniture manufacturing and outsourcing.

Philippine exports to South Africa are base metals, minerals, paper, pulp, spirits and beverages while the country’s imports from the African country are fish products, footwear, electrical appliances, tobacco, spirits and beverages.

Before meeting with CCCI officials, the ambassador, who assumed office just two months ago, also met with Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia, with whom she spoke on the potential in tourism cooperation.

The envoy also expressed interest in accepting the invitation for her to join the Suroy-Suroy Sugbo Enchanting Camotes Tour on April 25 and 26.

This is seen as a good beginning of a vibrant exchange of tourists between Cebu and her country, she said.

Untapped market

Meanwhile, a report said the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) will tap the huge and open African market starting this year given the region’s growing consumer spending as part of efforts to open new frontiers in non-traditional markets to give more push for the country’s exports.

It added that the agency though does not have figures yet about the current size of the market in Africa but initial studies showed potentials for the country’s products such as personal care, food, basic industrial items, processed meats and canned tuna, among others.

In 2018, the DTI conducted an information session on Doing Business with South Africa, Mozambique and Zambia.

South Africa was the largest trading partner of the Philippines among African countries and the 44th in the world in 2017.

The Philippines’s total trade with South Africa in 2017 amounted to US$171.2 million, with the Philippines as a net exporter, with export receipts valued at $117.5 million, and imports valued at $53.7 million.

Zambia and Mozambique were the Philippines’s 159th and 150th trading partners, respectively, in 2017. Unlike in South Africa, the Philippines was a net importer of these two African countries, with imports valued at $0.7 million for Mozambique and $0.3 million for Zambia.

The Philippines exported $100,000 worth of goods to Zambia and only $6,543 to Mozambique. (WITH KOC)