INTERNATIONAL TRADE: Cape Seeks Opportunities In Middle East
Recent Western Cape Business News
Wesgro, with Premier Helen Zille and a delegation of provincial officials and selected companies in export embarked on an official visit to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Abu Dhabi in December. Now building on the relationships and opportunities that were established, Wesgro is assisting 14 local food companies that will be visiting the Gulf Foods National Pavilion in Dubai from February 27 to March 3. The group is among 40 South African companies to visit the exhibition with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).
Wesgro will also lead a trade delegation of local companies to Dubai in April in order to seal and sign any potential deals that could have come of the Gulf Foods exhibition.
In preparation for the trip, Wesgro hosted an advanced export development seminar in Cape Town on February 9 for a host of local companies mainly in food production and preparation, addressed by Wesgro CEO Nils Flaatten.
Flaatten said it was time for South Africa and the Western Cape in particular to recognise the importance of export of a key driver of economic growth and job creation.
“Export has become a silent partner to economic growth in the province. We need to wake up in this country and make export a priority,” said Flaatten.
The province also needed to elevate the role of exporters and importers, and had to be become more aggressive in branding its products as “Western Cape”.
Flaatten said the Middle East offered great opportunities for local exporters, especially of food products, and Wesgro provided dedicated services to help local businesses achieve it.
Flaatten said the time was right for the Western Cape to link into opportunities around South Africa joining the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) group of strong emerging economies. It needed to defend old markets (mainly in Western Europe), but seek out new high growth markets such as the Middle East. These new markets would want to reap opportunities in trade with SA as a BRICSA member.
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