The Ukrainian Business and Trade Association (UBTA), as part of the Ukrainian delegation, successfully completed a trade mission to the Republic of South Africa (the RSA). The event took place in Pretoria, the capital of the RSA, and the port city of Durban. The mission was held from April 14 to April 18 by a delegation headed by Taras Kachka, the Trade Representative of Ukraine, and with the participation of Vladyslava Mahaletska, the Chairperson of the State Service of Ukraine for Food Safety and Consumer Protection, the UBTA team, Hennadii Chyzhykov, the President of the Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and representatives of Ukrainian business.

In general, a number of key meetings attended by the South African officials and local businesses were held. The Ukrainian delegation and the Director of the Directorate for Animal Health of the Ministry of Agriculture of South Africa, Dr Mpho Maja discussed cooperation with international organizations (WTO, the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC)), the current state of the epizootic situation in Ukraine, as well as the possibility of obtaining permits for export of certain categories of agricultural products to South Africa.

Trade representatives of Ukraine also spoke with the heads of African missions accredited in the Republic of South Africa, which are the area of responsibility of the Embassy of Ukraine to the RSA. The meeting was focused on discussing the Ukrainian businesses’ trade ambitions concerning not only the RSA but also a number of potential partner countries (namely, Zambia, Mauritius, Eswatini, and Namibia).

According to Taras Kachka, Deputy Minister of Economic Development, Trade, and Agriculture of Ukraine, such missions allow to present the country's investment potential and trade ambitions, learn the requirements for products that could be exported, as well as establish a regular economic dialogue between the countries. This, in turn, could entail political dialogue.

Dmyrto Los, the Chairperson of the Management Board of UBTA, stressed the importance of holding meetings with potential investors. "Both South Africa and Ukraine are great places to invest, so let's start trading," Dmytro said in a comment to the South African publication iol.co.za.

In Durban, with the support of the UBTA team and the Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the “Doing Business with Ukraine” forum has been held, attended by a delegation headed by Taras Kachka. At the Forum, promising areas of cooperation between the two countries were announced. The forum participants were introduced to the association's activities; Ukrainian companies (Kormotech, MHP, Prana Platinum, Voltage Group, AgroGroup Trading) introduced themselves known and presented their portfolios of products.

On her Facebook page, Vladyslava Mahaletska noted the high priority of the trade mission: "The cooperation with Ukraine is of very great interest – it was in the air. Nonetheless, trade was not the only topic. The participants talked about establishing close relationships in very different areas as well. The agricultural sector is just one of many areas; we are talking about systematic cooperation that covers energetics and shipbuilding to name a few."

Representatives of the RSA also expressed hope that the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the country's economy diminishes. Ravi Pillay, the Minister of Economic Development, Tourism, and Environmental Affairs, noted that partnership with Ukraine would play an outstanding role in this: "Economic recovery is a key strategic task, since creating new jobs is the number one priority during the coronavirus pandemic... This, and the fact that the Ukrainian government has great hopes pinned to the agricultural sector, should mean our united forces have all chances to yield prominent results."

"The trade mission encouraged our South African counterparts to a great extent. At the end of the event, we had a conversation. As a result, they agreed to hold another mission and raise its level to that of state corporations of the RSA. And this is the highest level there is in the country," Dmytro Los summed up.