LIMA-- Myriad opportunities exist in the Peruvian economy, which go beyond mining and agriculture which South African businesses can tap into.

Speaking at a business-to-business session here Wednesday, the General Manager of the South African-Peruvian Chamber of Commerce, Itala Piaggio, urged South African business to look for opportunities that go beyond mining and agriculture.

The Department of Trade and Industry (dti) is currently leading a group of South African companies on an Outward Selling Mission (OSM) to the South American country's capital, Lima.

At the moment, there are few South African companies doing business in Peru but we are optimistic that the companies that are here will learn more about the myriad investment opportunities that exist in the Peruvian economy, particularly in the mining and agricultural sectors. In terms of trade, technological products .... Peru offers the biggest opportunity for South African companies as Peru imports big volumes of the products and the demand is high, said Piaggio Wednesday.

South African companies currently doing business in Peru include Anglo American, Gold Fields and New Concept Mining, which are members of the South Africa-Peruvian Chamber of Commerce.

The chamber, whose main objective is to promote and strengthen bilateral trade relations between South Africa and Peru, was established in 2015 with assistance from the South African embassy in Peru.

We are bringing together South African and Peruvian businesses closer to each other in order to exchange ideas on how we can stimulate bilateral trade and investment between the two countries, said Piaggio.

The session saw a high attendance of Peruvian business people.

I can say without fear that the outcome of this session is going to be a positive impact on trade and investment between the two countries. The Peruvians have shown today that they are eager to gather as much information as possible from the South Africans themselves, with the aim of doing business with them. This enormous appetite will translate into concrete deals, Piaggio said.

Piaggio expressed confidence that the number of South African companies who are doing business in Peru would increase after the trade and investment mission, as companies set up partnerships and joint ventures to operate in the Peruvian economy.

Trade between the countries grew from more than 800 million Rand (about 52 million US dollars) in 2016 to about 1.5 billion Rand last year.

Last week, Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies said the mission was part of the dti's efforts to strengthen bilateral trade relations and increase trade and investment between South Africa and Peru.

This week's trade mission is the fourth mission to Peru the dti has organized since the technical scoping mission that the dti undertook to Peru in 2013.


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