PRETORIA, A 20-member South African business delegation funded by the government is participating in the 53rd edition of the Maputo International Trade Fair, commonly known as FACIM, which opened in the Mozambican capital on Monday.

FACIM is an international multi-sectoral trade fair held annually to showcase Mozambique as an attractive destination for trade and investment.

The South African delegation’s participation in the week-long trade fair is funded by the Department of Trade and Industry (dti) through its Export Marketing and Investment Assistance (EMIA) scheme with the aim of increasing exports of South African manufactured products to Mozambique.

The objective of the scheme is to develop export markets for South African products and services and to recruit new foreign direct investment (FDI) into the country.

Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies says the trade fair will expose South African companies to trade and investment opportunities available in Mozambique and other countries participating in the exhibition.

The managing executive of Port Elizabeth-based Fred Footwear, Ronald Eboru, said his company is on the mission to explore opportunities in southern Africa with the aim of exporting their products to several countries in the sub-region.

The Managing Director of Tekweni Foods, George Fletcher, said participating in the trade fair will provide his Durban based company with an opportunity to search for export opportunities in Mozambique and other neighbouring countries.

We are optimistic that our products will attract the attention of businesspeople who will be visiting the exhibition. We are specifically targeting supermarkets, wholesalers, retailers and distribution agents so that we can negotiate long-term deals that can result in us exporting our products to Mozambique and other countries, said Fletcher.

The South African High Commissioner (Ambassador) to Mozambique, Mandisi Mpahlwa, said the participation of South African companies in FACIM could not have come at a more opportune time as the country’s economy is recovering from the challenges it experienced last year.

The Mozambican economy is in the process of recovering from the challenges that it experienced last year. The government has not only committed to ensuring that the expected economic growth of 4.6% for 2017 is achieved, but it is also reaching out to the private sector and soliciting its active participation and support as an important partner in stimulating the country’s economic growth, he said.