AWEX and InvestSA sign a Memorandum of Understanding -8 June 201629/06/2016

AWEX (the Wallonia export-Investment Agency) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with InvestSA, an agency of the Department of Trade & Industry (DTI) on 8 June 2016. The MoU provides both parties to work together to enhance reciprocal foreign direct Investment attraction in particular through the exchange of information, potential investor referral and mutual support in investment promotion activities.

The bilateral discussions between the two parties started in February 2015 on the occasion of an official visit to the DTI in Pretoria by Ms. Pascale Delcomminette, CEO of AWEX, who was at that time leading a trade delegation of about 30 companies from Wallonia to South Africa.

“At AWEX, we support the internationalisation of our companies through different approaches”, says Pascale Delcomminette, “the most typical being the export promotion, but when the distances or the characteristics of a market so require, we encourage certain forms of expansion abroad through the set-up of a local office or a partnership with a local company.” With this in mind, AWEX identified InvestSA through its newly launched one-stop-shop platform for foreign investors as the perfect partner to support the Wallonian companies willing to expand in Africa. “For our companies, South Africa represents much more than a market of 52 million inhabitants,” adds Jean-Pierre Muller, head of Awex Johannesburg. “South Africa is in fact a gateway to Southern Africa or even to Sub-Saharan Africa. A local establishment in SA can be used as a steppingstone to tap into a potential market of one billion inhabitants, often referred to as the next frontier for global investment growth,” he says.

“Conversely, our job is also to attract foreign investors into Wallonia. South Africa offers great potential in this respect, and thanks to the support of InvestSA, we hope that we will be able to identify and approach some South African companies potentially interested in investing in Wallonia. No one better that the DTI knows the South African companies keen to tap into the EU market, and those are precisely the ones that we target primarily in our investment promotion activities,” concludes Delcomminette.

The signing of the MoU took place at a brief ceremony at the DTI Campus in Pretoria in the presence of HE Hubert Cooreman, Ambassador of Belgium to South Africa. The DTI was represented by Yunnus Hoosen, Acting head of InvestSA and AWEX by Jean-Pierre Muller, Trade and Investment Commissioner in Johannesburg.