The Coega Development Corporation (CDC) on Wednesday welcomed a business delegation from Tunisia, comprising of the Tunisian Business Chamber, Zarzis Free Zone, and the Honorable Ambassadors from both countries (Tunisia and South Africa).
The visit stems from the relationship between the South African and Tunisian governments in terms of promoting trade between these two countries. The visit was an opportunity to foster trade and investment relations between Tunisia and the province of the Eastern Cape.
“In my last visit to CDC in 2015, we were asked to market the Eastern Cape by extension South Africa for trade and investment opportunities. I have made it a point to link Tunisian businesses people with those in the Eastern Cape, especially bearing in mind the many similarities with the Eastern Cape,” said Mandla Hoyana, South African Ambassador to Tunisia.
“South Africa and Tunisia enjoy a very healthy and mutually beneficial political and economic relationship. Since 1993 the volume of trade between South Africa and Tunisia has increased dramatically. South Africa’s exports to Tunisia include chemicals, wood, paper and pulp, machinery and insecticides. South Africa mainly imports products such as phosphates and woven fabrics from Tunisia,” said Dr Ayanda Vilakazi, CDC’s Head of Marketing and Corporate Communications.
The Tunisian business community expressed a keen interest in the Coega IDZ, as a preferred investment destination in Africa and the best IDZ in the developing economies of the world, according to the China Vice-President Dr Li Yuanchao.
The Tunisian delegation arrived in the country on Sunday and kicked off their visit in East London led by the Tunisia Ambassador to South Africa, Her Excellency Ms N Dridi Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary. Thereafter, HE Dridi visited the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro at the Coega IDZ.
“The CDC is pleased by our interactions with the Tunisian business fraternity and we consistently seek to contribute towards building the economy of our country through opening up investment opportunities for the Eastern Cape Province,” said Christopher Mashigo, CDC Executive Manager Business Development.
HE Ms N Dridi also visited a number or companies in the IDZ on a tour including the Port of Ngqura. Thereafter, both Tunisians and Coega IDZ representatives exchanged information which highlighted some symbiotic opportunities between Tunisia and SA.
The interest in the Coega IDZ from the Tunisian government stems from the CDC’s widely publicised latest achievements and successes broadcast all over the World as the preferred investment destination for global businesses with an Africa Agenda. We should remember that in the past five years, the CDC has attracted no less than 61 new investments into the Coega IDZ worth an estimated R35,8 billion. Currently, the IDZ has 36 operational investors having invested an estimated R6.609 billion, and have created in excess of 18 366.