Italian job ahead for Fruit South Africa
Industry group Fruit South Africa has entered a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Associazione Italiana Commercio Estero (AICE) to promote mutual trade and investment opportunities between the two countries' fresh fruit sectors.
In a release, Fruit South Africa highlighted AICE was a non-profit entrepreneurial association, established in Milan, with more than 70 years' experience working to promote business relations between Italy and the rest of the world.
AICE represents Italian companies that are predominantly committed to commercial activities abroad such as: trading, export, import, countertrade, buying-offices, export management as well as services activities related to small and medium enterprises.
More than 50% of all agricultural exports from South Africa are fresh fruit, and major export destinations include the EU, U.K., Far East, Russia, Middle East, the U.S. and Canada.
The fruit industry contributes significantly to the South African economy with an annual turnover of more than ZAR30 billion (US$2 billion) composed of exports, national sales of fresh produce, fruit supplied for processing and fruit supplied for drying.
The scope of the MoU includes, the exchange of information on general economic status, trade policies and regulation, legislative changes of respective countries to promote and strengthen bilateral trade, technological and industrial cooperation between Italy and South Africa in the fresh fruit sector.
Other areas of cooperation will involve the parties informing each other of all activities that have the potential to further promote trade and investment opportunities between the two countries in the fruit sector; promoting bilateral trade and economic relations as well as encourage; mobilize and assist in the development of mutually beneficial joint ventures and investment opportunities between business people of the respective countries and organisations.
Fruit SA chairman Anton Rabe signed the MoU, and said the association would continue to build and formalize relationships with like-minded organizations international.
Such initiatives will include in-country representatives in a number of targeted countries in order to facilitate and improve engagement with public and private stakeholders in such countries.