Cape Town looks to South America to grow export market

26 March 2018 - 17:53
By Jacqueline Flynn And Madeline Harvey
Image: Gallo Images/ IStock

Cape Town businesses are hopeful that a trade mission to Columbia last week would result in more exports to the South American country.

During the visit‚ Wesgro’s Trade Unit and Bogota Chamber of Commerce signed a memorandum of understanding with a view to fostering economic links between the regions.

The trip, led by Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), followed a 2015 scoping mission that identified the area as an important high-growth market with high export potential for South African products and services. 

DTI minister Rob Davies said that the 2015 mission had pointed to a number of business opportunities‚ including in the mining‚ industrial and automotive sectors.

Wesgro CEO Tim Harris said the agency’s trade team was establishing contacts with importers‚ distributors‚ business chambers and other business organisations with a view to facilitating exports from the Western Cape to Columbia. He said Wesgro’s research had shown that Latin America was expected to recover in 2018‚ with the region projected to grow by 1.9% in 2018 and 2.6% in 2019.

“Boosting our trading relationship with the region will therefore be a worthwhile investment in the next few years‚” he said.

A Wesgro statement said that trade between South Africa and Colombia has grown from R419-million in 2011 to more than R858-million in 2017. It said the positive growth had largely been attributed to the government’s export-oriented growth strategy and improved security initiatives.