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Dutch unfazed by SA’s cancelled trade treaty

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Thursday, 24 July 2014

Dutch unfazed by SA’s cancelled trade treaty

SOUTH Africa’s unilateral cancellation of its bilateral investment treaty with the Netherlands, a major trade and investment partner, does not appear to have dampened the Dutch appetite for investment in the country.

Representatives of 50 Dutch companies jetted into Johannesburg and Cape Town earlier this month, led by their country’s Foreign Trade and Development Co-operation Minister, Lilianne Ploumen.

The Dutch are keen to show South Africans their capacity in agrifoods, horticulture, renewable energy, life sciences, health, and the creative, transport and logistics industries.

A deal was struck during the visit, leading to the creation of Mazars Berenschot SA. This combines local global tax, legal and audit services with a Netherlands-based management consultancy. The entity will advise mainly on the water, energy, healthcare and transport sectors in South Africa and elsewhere in Africa.

Ms Ploumen says South Africa is the main Dutch business partner in Africa, and is also regarded as the "gateway" to the continent.

Despite the cancellation of the treaty, South Africa imported R16bn worth of Dutch goods last year, while exporting R30bn in goods to its former trading partner.

Source: bdlive.co.za