SA companies prepare for Expos

Friday, October 17, 2014

Pretoria - Over 40 South African companies are getting ready to showcase their products at the upcoming South Africa-China Expos, which kick off next week.

The Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) is supporting 51 companies to participate in the South Africa China Expos, which will take place in Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Chengdu, Shanghai and Beijing from 20 - 31 October 2014.

The aim of the Expos is to ensure that trade and investment between South Africa and China is increased

CEO of Bayede, a wine company that will be participating in the Expos in China, Antoinette Vermooten says her main objective of going to China is to expand the company's footprint in the Asian country and to get new importers and trading partners.

She said her company, which participated in the 2013 South African Expos in China, managed to record sales to the total value of R5.2 million as a result of their participation in the expos and is optimistic that this year they will double the numbers.

The Director of Robinson and Sinclair Wine Company, Tanja Robinson, who is also part of the delegation, said after their previous participation in the Expos in China, her company is now exporting its premium wines to the value of R10 million per annum to Xiamen.

She said this year she would like to meet specialised wine importers and large corporates and continue to expand their footprint in China.

One of the South African products that will be showcased at the expos is Rooibos tea.

Founder and managing member of Blue Africa Trading, which specialises in Rooibos tea, Charl Rudman, said he would like to establish contacts with companies that would be interested in importing Rooibos tea products from South Africa.

"We are mostly interested in companies that are in the tea business or supply retailers. Companies that have the infrastructure and capabilities to import our tea to China and Hong Kong, with the potential of exporting it to other Asian countries, will be an added advantage for the company," he said on Friday.

The business delegation will leave for China on Saturday and will be led by the Director-General of the dti, Lionel October, for the first leg of the Expos and then by the Deputy Minister Mzwandile Masina for the second leg of the. Minister Rob Davies will be part of the Beijing leg of the Expos.

Participating companies will be in the sectors of agro-processing, chemicals, plastics, steel and aluminium, among others.

As part of the Expos programme, the South African companies will also participate in the Western China International Fair (WCIF) from 22-26 October 2014 in Chengdu.

“The WCIF serves as an important platform for investment promotion, trade cooperation and diplomatic service in western China between eastern and western China, and China and foreign countries.

“It is the largest and most important platform for the opening-up and development of western China and will open up a lot of doors to market South African products, thereby assisting to close the trade gap between the two countries,” said Minister Davies.

South Africa’s total trade with China reveals a steady upward growth, with trade in 2013 totalling R192 billion, albeit skewed in China’s favour. -