PRETORIA– The Department of Trade and Industry (dti) is leading a group of South African companies to participate in the Algiers International Trade Fair which opened in the Algerian capital Tuesday.

The Algiers International Trade Fair is one of the most strategic platforms for foreign companies to reach Algerian buyers and consumers. The fair attracts exhibitors from the United States, France, Germany, Turkey and China, among others, said the department in a statement here Tuesday.

The statement quoted Deputy Trade and Industry Minister Bulelani Magwanishe as saying that South Africa viewed the North African country as a strategic partner, and the two countries established a Bi-National Commission in September 2000 with the aim of advancing trade and investment relations between them.

South African companies participating in the six-day fair are from the agro-processing, capital equipment and mining, steel fabrication, eletro-technical and chemicals sectors.

The Algiers Fair is an appropriate forum for South Africans in the market-relevant sectors which have been selected for participation to promote their products and services, as well as to identify possible investment partnerships. Besides its huge purchasing power, Algeria is diversifying from the oil industry and has therefore identified trade and investment opportunities which South Africa can consider as part of its investment-led trade plan for the rest of the African continent, said Magwanishe.

He added that the fair would help strengthen the presence of South African goods and services in Algeria, which is also the gateway to the rest of the North African sub-region.

Algeria’s consistent political stability and economic growth positions the country as an important and strategic economy in the North Africa region. This gives South Africa an opportunity to continue to position itself and to explore economic opportunities in the North Africa region, said Magwanishe.