Cebu’s economy seen to grow with South African partnership

By: Pia Piquero - CDN Dgital Multimedia Reporter | March 16,2024 - 08:00 AM

South African Ambassador to the Philippines

South African Ambassador to the Philippines, H.E Bartinah Ntombizodwa Radebe-Netshitenzhe, talks to the members of the Cebu media on Friday, March 15. | CDN Photo/ Pia Piquero

CEBU CITY, Philippines – Cebu’s economy is expected to experience significant growth after a potential foreign business investor proposed a collaboration with the province.

The South African Ambassador to the Philippines, H.E Bartinah Ntombizodwa Radebe-Netshitenzhe, revealed the potential partnership between Cebu, particularly the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI), and the Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry is Africa’s oldest and largest metropolitan Chamber.

READ: The rise of foreign and Filipino partnerships

In a media briefing held on Friday, March 15, Netshitenzhe revealed the South African government’s strong interest in cultivating a relationship with the CCCI.

She expressed her anticipation for future collaboration between the two entities which could result in the growth of Cebu’s economy.

Netshitenzhe also indicated that she met with local government officials, including Cebu Provincial Governor Gwen Garcia, during which they discussed potential collaborations.

Although they were able to identify the projects they wished to pursue for business expansion in Cebu, she mentioned that she could not disclose them at this time.

However, she emphasized that the primary goal of the South African government is to “build a solid relationship with Cebu.”

READ: PH works on FTAs with African countries

“I would not mention them here but I think we have identified the area which I think is the common we can be able to pursue going forward what is important for us for the South African government is to build a solid relationship with Cebu,” she said.

According to Netshitenzhe, they have observed Cebu’s pursuit of economic status, rivaling that of Manila. This recognition has led them to shift their focus beyond Manila and towards provinces such as Cebu and Davao for further expansion.

“We think that we have so much to offer [to Cebu]… Cebu has the most effective chamber of commerce,” she said.

Meanwhile, Netshitenzhe mentioned that the partnership also aims to address various developmental areas such as natural disaster management, pharmaceuticals, machinery and technologies, and food trade.

READ: More foreign, private partnerships to boost PH growth, group says

The South African Ambassador to the Philippines arrived in Cebu on March 14.

During her visit, she engaged with both the local government of Cebu and the business community to discuss strategies for enhancing import and export relations, promoting tourism, exploring cooperation in the creative industry, and identifying investment opportunities.

Additionally, discussions were held regarding the proposed Memorandum of Understanding with the Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

This potential collaboration seeks to stimulate economic growth in key sectors such as agro-processing, manufacturing, and tourism promotion.

Furthermore, efforts will be made to foster collaboration in the creative industry and maritime training, as well as establish a sister-city agreement with Durban City.

Last November 15, 2023, the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the India Business Forum (IBF) formally executed the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to foster further collaboration for the expansion of trade and services between the two countries.

READ: Cebu, India business chambers partner for expansion

Felix Taguiam, the former president of CCCI, along with Dileep Tiwari, the president of IBF, jointly signed the Memorandum of Understanding.

Taguiam mentioned that the signing of the MOU would not only facilitate an expansion of trade and services but could also contribute to the mutual excellence of each country’s services.


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TAGS: Cebu, economy, South Africa

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