South Africa’s trade promotion efforts are crucial to economic growth

South Africa’s trade promotion efforts are crucial to economic growth

The Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Ebrahim Patel, says building the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), and making South Africa’s trade promotion efforts more effective and strategic, was very crucial to economic growth in the country and the African continent in general.

Minister Patel says the initiative would connect 1.2 billion people into a single bloc where products would be manufactured, bought and sold between countries, without any trade tariffs.

According him, the agreements such as the AfCFTA lay the basis for increased infra-Africa trade and ‘cement the continent’s position as the next growth frontier.

The Department of Trade and Industry will be concentrating over the next few weeks, on finalising terms of an agreement between South Africa and the UK in case of a no-deal Brexit, to protect SA exports and jobs. The Department will also engage with the US around AGOA and point to the mutually beneficial impact thereof.

Download the full press release below. 


Exporters Eastern Cape look back at solid year of performance

Exporters Eastern Cape look back at solid year of performance

Exporters Eastern Cape Committee 2019/2020 – (front row from left): Suzanne Vermeulen (Branch Coordinator), Brenden Adriaanzen, Greg Billson, Sujit Bhagattjee, Jane Stevenson, Ndulela Canca. (Back row from left): Neil Barker, Oyama Sidlabane, Quintin Levey, Loudeaux Minnie, Steven Buhr and Pravika Chetty. (Ryan Tudhope absent when photo was taken). 


EXPORTERS Eastern Cape last night (11 July 2019) celebrated a solid year of successes at the Exporters Eastern Cape 39th Annual General Meeting (AGM).

The AGM, which was hosted at Standard Bank in Pickering Street, celebrated almost four decades of resilience in the Eastern Cape export market – with a special welcome by Denzil Lester, a long-standing member of Exporters Eastern Cape who has attended all 39 AGM’s of the organisation since its inception.

Exporters Eastern Cape Chairman Quintin Levey said the organisation enjoyed a busy and successful year in 2018/19, which included a name change, the appointment of a full-time branch co-ordinator and a full calendar of events – including panel discussions, factory tours and presentations.

Membership of the organisation increased substantially in the past year, with Exporters Eastern Cape expanding to include more events in East London and Levey said exporters from the George region will also be invited to join the organisation in the coming year.

New committee members Steven Buhr (Investec), Neil Barker (Oracle Media), Ryan Tudhope (Enterprise Development Consultants), Sujit Bhagattjee (TNPA), Brenden Adriaanzen (Sasfin Commercial Solutions) and Oyama Sidlabane (Lizwe Fuels) were welcomed to the leadership structure of Exporters Eastern Cape last night by Levey, who encouraged exporters to take full advantage of their membership by remaining actively involved. Despite tough economic conditions, the organisation also built up a good reserve over the past year.

Levey said he was looking forward to the highlight on the Exporters Eastern Cape calendar: hosting the Eastern Cape Exporter of the Year Awards during a gala event on August 16, with the final judging of the awards currently being wrapped up.

Guest speaker Chris Gibbons, a business strategist, editor and journalist, shared his “Mid-Year Report Card for South Africa” with the Exporters Eastern Cape members who attended the AGM last night.

Gibbons is one of South Africa’s best-known journalists, currently editing the magazine Acumen for the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) and better known in the Eastern Cape for his daily business news slot on the Daron Mann Breakfast Show on Algoa FM.

While he pulled no punches as to the current circumstances in South Africa with regards to his insights into the political and economic situation in the country, Gibbons said there were still pockets of excellence in the broader economy.

“Despite our economic circumstances, someone is still making money out there. There is still opportunity out there if you are prepared to take the risk and work hard at it. In the Eastern Cape fruit exports have been increasing over the last five year, particularly to China. South Africa is now the largest supplier of citrus to China,” said Gibbons.

Other export products doing exponentially well, according to Gibbons, were nuts with massive growth in exports to China, as well as strong successes in the mining and minerals sectors.

“Let’s not forget the motor industry that is already here. It contributes 6.9% of the country’s GDP, with 351 000 vehicles exported last year and 112 000 people employed. This is significant, these numbers are meaningful; although domestic consumption could be more, the automotive industry has a very solid and profitable future,” said Gibbons.

His biggest area of concern for the country, however, was education, since it is considered a predictor of the future and determinant of economic growth. Coupled with the brain drain, Gibbons said our education system is failing the country – particularly in terms of getting left behind in the time of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.


USA Market Entry Requirements – FDA Awareness Workshop

USA Market Entry Requirements – FDA Awareness Workshop

The Eastern Cape Development Corporation (ECDC) in partnership with USAID Southern Africa Trade & Investment Hub cordially invites you to attend a U.S. market entry requirements: FDA awareness workshop on the 24th of July 2019.

The workshop is aimed at giving information about the U.S. market entry requirements focusing on Food & Drug Administration, an expert will be available at the seminar for one-on-one consultations.


Time:    08:30 – 15:00
Venue:  Radisson Blu Hotel, Port Elizabeth
Date:    24 July 2019

RSVP:  Linda Lubengu at by Friday, 19 July 2019.

Download below the invite and agenda for the workshop. 

Upward Momentum for Vehicle Exports

Upward Momentum for Vehicle Exports

The National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa [NAAMSA] said that the new vehicle sales declining trend continued into June, 2019 although lower passenger car sales had been offset by growth in some of the commercial vehicle segments.

Reflecting on the new vehicle sales statistics for the month of June 2019 confirmed that aggregate domestic sales at 45 939 units showed a
decline of 724 units or 1,6% from the 46 663 vehicles sold in June last year.

Following a surprising decline in May 2019, export sales returned to register strong growth of 3 819 vehicles, or a gain of 14,3%, compared to the 26 785 vehicles exported in June last year. Vehicle exports for the year to date are now 29 459 vehicles or 19,3% higher than the corresponding period last year.

Download the full NAAMSA press release below as well as the June 2019 Industry New Vehicle Sales.

NEWSFLASH: Ngqura Container Terminal

NEWSFLASH: Ngqura Container Terminal

Exporters Eastern Cape is acutely aware of the problem at Ngqura Container Terminal and the impact it has on the exports industry.

We have engaged with Transnet and have received the below correspondence which highlights the direct contact details for direct communication.