Boom time for exports

TRADE PARTNERS: Promoting Eastern Cape export opportunities at the trade fair in Ningbo, China, are the Eastern Cape Development Corporation (ECDC) Ningbo team of Doris Wang, left, and Louis Zheng with ECDC market access specialist Zodwa Kepeyi, centre
TRADE PARTNERS: Promoting Eastern Cape export opportunities at the trade fair in Ningbo, China, are the Eastern Cape Development Corporation (ECDC) Ningbo team of Doris Wang, left, and Louis Zheng with ECDC market access specialist Zodwa Kepeyi, centre

MORE and more export opportunities are opening up for Eastern Cape traders in Asia and Africa. With six Eastern Cape companies reaping the rewards of participating at a permanent Eastern Cape Development Corporation (ECDC) trade fair in Ningbo, China, the Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber and Indonesian consulate general also this week hosted an Indonesian business forum in Port Elizabeth.

In addition, many PE companies have renewed their focus on making African countries their trade partners. Most of the multinational vehicle manufacturers based in the Eastern Cape export to African markets, while other companies in the province have also set their sights on untapped markets to the north.

One such exporter is Woodlands Dairy in Humansdorp which aims to become “the most admired dairy company in Africa” and this week advertised for a new position of export administrator.

Woodlands chairman and chief executive Lex Gutsche said a need for this position had arisen because of an increased workload, which required someone to focus solely on the export part of the business.

He said the increased focus on Africa as an export destination would “absolutely” also involve the creation of more jobs.

“As we grow our production facility we will need to employ more people locally. Obviously we will also look to employ people or services in the respective markets we penetrate but those would typically be selected from the people of that particular country,” Gutsche said.

Woodlands exports to 10 other countries and has been exporting for the past 12 years.

“Key to growth is procurement of sufficient milk from our existing farmers, thus giving them room to expand their operations. If necessary we would welcome into our fold additional farmers to satisfy our growth needs should our existing pool of milk suppliers be unable to meet our demands,” Gutsche said.

The Indonesia consul general, Sugie S Harijadi, was the guest speaker at Wednesday’s Indonesian Business Forum, hosted by the chamber.

The purpose of the forum was to explore economic opportunities, build new relationships with businesses and specifically focus on products in jewellery, crude palm oil, rubber, automotive, chemical, machinery, forestry, agricultural, footwear and metal products.

Harijadi also advised the Mandela Bay delegates on how to get involved with the upcoming Indonesia Trade Expo in Jakarta in October.

The ECDC also reported this week that the six Eastern Cape companies participating at the permanent trade fair in Ningbo, China, had made significant inroads into the lucrative Chinese consumer market, securing growing orders and distribution channels for their products.

ECDC market access specialist Zodwa Kepeyi said the Makana Meadery in Grahamstown, iQhilika, had secured an order of 600 bottles since exhibiting in Ningbo.

“We predict that in 2014 the order will rise to 1600 bottles and to 2000 in 2015. We are also excited about mohair producer Momentos of Africa who have sold out their samples worth R10500. A second delivery worth R11250 has also been sold out. A third order of R38250 by a merchant has already been paid for. This means our export interventions are working and should further boost the value of Eastern Cape trade,” Kepeyi said.

The ECDC had facilitated exports to the value of R1.1-billion in the first six months of 2013-14 and a total of 54 new and existing businesses were assisted with export support. – Cindy Preller

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