More than 100 South African companies are doing business in Nigeria across several industries, President Jacob Zuma said on Tuesday.

Zuma said: “To date, over 100 companies are doing business in Nigeria, with the biggest investment being in the telecommunications sector.”

“We welcome the participation of South African business in other sectors in Nigeria as well, such as engineering, construction, media, banking, retail, hospitality, oil and gas exploration and services.”

Zuma said there had also been keen interest from Nigerian businesses to invest and do business in South Africa across a number of sectors.

Last year South Africa received a total of 73,282 Nigerian tourists, which was a 13.8 percent increase compared with 64,402 Nigerian visitors in 2011, said Zuma.

“Our records indicate that Nigerian tourists contributed a total of R720 million to the South African economy last year. To boost tourism links further, South Africa is in the process of opening a tourism office in Lagos.”

Zuma urged South Africans to also visit Nigeria and explore “this sister country, which has historically played a prominent role in the continent and in world affairs.”

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan was invited to visit South Africa by Zuma, who visited Nigeria – Africa’s second-largest economy – last month to discuss security problems facing the continent.

The invite coincides with the World Economic Forum (WEF) holding in Cape Town, South Africa. During the economic forum, leaders from Africa and abroad will look at ways to speed up the diversification of economies and infrastructure growth.

The Nigerian President’s visit has come at a time there’s a silent rivalry between the two counties about the size of the two economies.

Nigeria is due to rebase its gross domestic product (GDP) figures next year. This could boost Nigeria’s GDP massively making it to be closer to South Africa’s.

According to Business Day (SA), if Nigeria’s growth rate remains at nearly 7 percent which is twice that of South Africa’s, the title of Africa’s heavyweight economy will go to Nigeria within a few years.


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