A South African business delegation is participating in the twelfth Latin American Defence and Security Exhibition (LAAD), which is being held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, this week.
The event is open to companies that provide technology, equipment and services for armed forces, special forces, police, homeland security and security managers.
The companies that will be exhibiting at the South African Pavilion have been assisted by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) through the Export Market Investment Assistance Scheme, which aims to increase exports of South African manufactured products.
The South African delegation includes textiles, body armour, radar and communication systems, search and rescue boats and small to medium range arms manufacturers.
The South African Consul-General in Brazil Malose Mogale emphasised the strategic importance of Brazil to South Africa.
“Brazil remains a strategic partner for us in this region and the LAAD platform offers us potential opportunities not only in this country, but within the Mercado Comun del Sur, or the Southern Common Market economic and commercial group, of which Brazil is a member,” he said.
He further stressed that companies looking to explore Brazil should not neglect the important aspect of conducting due diligence on companies with which they are considering partnerships or transactions.
“[We] urge South African companies to guard against compromising their intellectual property. We have noticed that this is one aspect of conducting business that is generally neglected and we request that they approach the mission to confirm the authenticity of companies they are engaging with as we have a database of companies that we update regularly.
“Also, our companies must ensure that a certain aspect of their production remains local as that will be beneficial to creating jobs and growing the [South African] economy,” he said.
Meanwhile, the South African chapter of the Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (Brics) Business Council will host the group’s mid-term meeting in Johannesburg from April 3 to 4. The meeting will also mark the handing over of the rotating chair of the council to Brazil.
The two-day meeting will be held under the theme ‘Brics in Africa: Collaboration for Inclusive Growth and Shared Prosperity in the Fourth Industrial Revolution’.
The meeting will be attended by about 300 delegates and government leaders from the Brics member countries, including the economic bloc’s captains of industry and domestic and international opinion makers.