Ricochet News

PE-based Mend A Bath International part of DTI mission to Tunisia

Nov 28, 2018
PE-based Mend A Bath International part of DTI mission to Tunisia

A Port Elizabeth-based company, Mend A Bath International, is hoping to extend its franchise network to North Africa when it participates in the Outward Trade and Investment Mission to Tunisia next week.

The mission, which takes place from 2-6 December 2018 is organised and funded by the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) and will be led by the Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Bulelani Magwanishe.

According to Sidwell Medupe, the DTI Spokesperson, the purpose of the mission is to provide South African companies with a platform to introduce their products and services into the Tunisian market and beyond.

"The mission will comprise of a trade and investment seminar, business-to-business meetings and site visits."

Magwanishe added that the mission will assist in building trade relations between the two nations situated on the north and south tips of the continent.

“South African goods and services do not enjoy much of presence in the North African region. The mission is expected to provide South African companies with a platform to introduce their products and services into the Tunisian market. South Africa and Tunisia enjoy well-established political ties but statistics show that a great need exists to build strong bilateral economic relations,” he said.

He also said that despite total bilateral between the two countries growing from R431 million in 2011 to more than R500m in 2017, the trade volumes are still low.

“We have identified Tunisia as a priority partner for South Africa as per the dti’s diversification strategy because it potentially offers immense opportunities for SA companies in terms of trade and investments,” Magwanishe described.

He added that Tunisia is a diverse market-oriented economy with important agricultural, mining, tourism and manufacturing industries and offering many opportunities for trade and investment.

“Tunisia will be also utilised as a spring board into the rest of the North African region, where we are targeting other key markets such as Egypt. The economy of Tunisia is amongst the most competitive economies in the African and the Arab world,” emphasised Magwanishe.

The visit by the Deputy Minister Magwanishe is also expected to pave the way for the commencement of work towards establishment of the Joint Trade and Investment Committee, which will go a long way towards advancing the bilateral trade between the two countries.

'Mend A Bath has established itself as an important global franchise'

The Director and co-owner of Mend a Bath, Ian Moore, says his main objective for travelling to Tunisia is to find either a franchisee or a distributor for his company’s bath resurfacing coating products in Tunisia.

“We have been to several trade missions and international trade exhibitions with the dti looking for new business in various export markets," says Moore..

"We are already exporting to quite a number of countries in the rest of Africa and beyond. We are optimistic that we will soon add Tunisia on the list of countries we are doing business in. We are also confident that finding a franchisee or distributor in Tunisia will also enable us to establish ourselves in other North African countries as we are currently not exporting to the region."

Mend A Bath has established itself as an important global franchise network in refinishing and resurfacing of sanitary ware.

They have been refinishing baths, washbasins, tiles and shower bases in homes, hotels, hospitals and other institutions globally for more than 35 years.

Their coating products are already exported to more than twenty countries in Southern Africa, East Africa, West Africa, Europe and Oceania.

The mission to Tunisia is expected to contribute in increasing bilateral trade and investment between South Africa and Tunisia. Bilateral trade between the two countries totalled just over R500 million in 2017.

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