The fifth edition of the South Africa-Italy Summit/Indaba, held in Johannesburg on Tuesday, has emphasised the importance of bilateral trade relations and investment partnerships between the two countries. This year, trade between South Africa and Italy grew by 11% in the first seven months.
Italian ambassador to South Africa Pietro Giovanni Donnici said that Italy viewed its relationship with South Africa as a mutually beneficial one, in which economic growth in one country was profitable to the other.
Further, he said that trade between the two countries did not impair local growth, but rather, supported it by feeding products and services into the local value chain.
Also speaking at the event was Gauteng Premier's Office director-general Phindile Baleni, who expressed her pleasure at the indaba evolving into a pan-African and pan-European event.
She also indicated that hosting the event in Gauteng for the third time was commendable, with the region contributing considerably to the country’s overall gross domestic product, as well as to the country’s trade with Italy.
The event is posited to allow Gauteng, and South Africa, to strengthen and build relationships with key economic regions.
Baleni indicated that South Africa was one of the most appealing destinations in the Southern African Development Community for foreign direct investment. She also committed the province to removing red tape to facilitate business and investment ease.