THE Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the Private Sector Foundation of Lesotho (PSFL) and Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry on April 16 seeks to increase cooperation between the two organisations, according to the PSFL Executive Secretary, Thabo Qhesi.
“The MoU signified that the two parties intend to jointly pursue the achievement of increased trade and business activity between their members and or stakeholders, as one of their objectives.
“Other objectives would be the identification of collaborative projects from which each of the parties will benefit and the parties’ respective cities and countries will also derive economic advantage and also transferring skills and expertise where appropriate,” Qhesi told the don Wednesday.
Qhesi further said the two partners will also occasionally exchange business delegations and have collaborative “mutual understanding and awareness of the opportunities offered for business in either country”.
The MoU, which would be reviewed annually, emphasises the need for the two bodies to “communicate regularly, conveying to each other business opportunities through which trade and business activity may be increased,” Qhesi further said.
In addition to the signing of the MoU, Qhesi said there were also some presentations by officials from the Trade and Investment KwaZulu-Natal (TIKZN) and eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality, from which the PSFL delegation derived valuable information.
“The TIKZN is a South African trade and inward investment promotion agency similar to our local Basotho Enterprises Development Corporation (BEDCO). (BEDCO, which falls under the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Cooperatives and Marketing, is mandated with helping establish, as well as promoting, Basotho-owned small and medium-sized businesses).
“The organisation was established to promote the province of KwaZulu-Natal as an ideal investment destination and facilitate trade by assisting local companies to access international markets. We believe we can adopt a similar approach and have different BEDCOs at district level, to pursue, explicit district-oriented business ideas.”
Qhesi added that other valuable features of TIKZN, the Private Sector Foundation of Lesotho would like to emulate, include investment-support incentives the organisation offers.
The Information Officer in the Ministry of Trade, Industry, Cooperatives and Marketing, Retselisitsoe Sekake, who made the Durban trip alongside the PSFL delegation, said: “As a ministry, we undertook the journey with the PSFL, as we are the policymakers so we wanted to know what is actually on the ground. Such awareness would help quicken the development of real private sector-oriented policies and regulations.”