Fifty representatives from South Africa’s ruling African National Congress party traveled to Russia for discussions about increasing business partnerships in South Africa, according to a report in fin24.
According to the Russian Embassy in South Africa, bilateral trade between the two countries increased 66.3 percent in 2012. Thus far, most Russian interests in South Africa have involved the country’s vast mineral resources.
South African business delegates spoke about their areas of expertise, including ship building, fisheries, transport, mining, construction and energy.
ANC members of the Progressive Business Forum visited Russian delegates in Moscow and St. Petersburg including South African Secretary General Gwede Mantashe, Deputy Minister Obed Bapela and Renier Schoeman, forum head.
Bapela urged Russians to become familiar with South Africa’s National Development Plan (NDP) to see how doing business in South Africa could benefit Russia. The NDP was outlined in November of 2011 as a means to “eliminate poverty and reduce inequality” by 2030, primarily by “expanding a robust, entrepreneurial and innovative economy.” The NDP highlights South Africa’s mining and minerals, manufacturing and tourism resources as specific areas targeted for growth.
To harness these resources, however, South Africa must improve its infrastructure so that the majority of its people have access to basics such as electricity, and technology such as affordable broadband connectivity, the report said.
While in Russia, according fin24, Russian representatives presented ideas on ship-building, machine-building, mining, banking, finance, transportation and production.
Rinat Gizatulin, deputy minister of natural resources and environment, said Russia had been focusing on any contributions it could make to the challenges of power generation in South Africa, according to a report on the Progressive Business Forum website.