Cape Town and the Western Cape’s International Trade Promotion Unit at Wesgro can announce that it has helped secure R4.98 billion in trade declarations during the 2018/19 financial year, on behalf of the City of Cape Town and the Western Cape Government.
This follows over R924 million in trade deals being declared by Wesgro-assisted exporters in quarter four of the financial year.
The International Trade team also assisted in landing R381 million in outward foreign direct investment into the rest of Africa by Western Cape companies during 2018/19.
Wesgro receives its international trade promotion mandate from the Western Cape Government’s Department of Economic Development and Tourism (DEDAT) and the City of Cape Town, and assists companies through its export advancement programme, outward selling missions and through business agreement facilitation, amongst other services.
During the last quarter of 2018/19, the trade team hosted four export outward selling missions, namely, to France, the United Arab Emirates, Japan and Cameroon. The team also undertook a fact-finding mission to Saudi Arabia.
A key service offering offered by the Unit is its Export Advancement Programme. During quarter four, the team hosted a Halal-focussed programme, where 32 companies participated. Growing Halal exports, and accessing the more than US$1 trillion market abroad, is a key strategic focus of the team, in line with the Western Cape Government’s Project Khulisa strategy.
The team also conducted an additional export training in March of this year, where a total of 36 companies completed the programme.
Denan Kuni, Head of International Trade at Wesgro said: “These are stellar results from a Trade team that has worked hard to service Western Cape exporters during the course of the financial year. We will continue to streamline our processes to enhance our offerings and remain relevant and adept to exporters in the province. We encourage companies that have an export ready product to reach out to us.”
Alderman James Vos, Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Opportunities and Asset Management at the City of Cape Town, said: “One of my top priorities as the Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Opportunities and Asset Management is to grow the City’s economy and create much needed jobs. I am therefore extremely pleased that our investment and trade promotion agency, Wesgro, in conjunction with the City and other partners, has helped boost exports by almost R5 billion. We encourage Cape Town companies to become export-ready, and access the many opportunities that exist in markets across the world. I hope to see many such companies attend the Export Advancement Programme this year.”
“The Western Cape Government is focused on developing local manufacturing capability and growing exports as a way to drive job creation and earn foreign revenue. We therefore welcome these excellent trade results, as well as the work Wesgro is doing to ensure that businesses from the province, particularly in the agri-processing and Halal sectors, are able to find new markets, which in turn drives economic growth” added MEC Beverley Schafer, Western Cape Minister for Economic Opportunities.
Wesgro CEO, Tim Harris, stressed the importance of growing exports, especially during more challenging economic times. “If we can help Western Cape companies access new markets abroad, they can grow their revenue, employ new people, even in more difficult economic conditions. This is why it is a key focus of the Western Cape, and why our Export Advancement Programme is a critical lever at our disposal” concluded Harris.