Local companies are set to seek out new markets in Mozambique while participating in the 54th Feira International de Maputo (FACIM) that gets underway next week.
Tshwane-based food and beverage company, Khora Africa Projects Co-operative Limited, aims to establish a new market and potential distribution channels in the East African nation.
Director at the company that produces fruit jam, chutney, chilli sauce and atcha, Thadishe Phoku, said the FACIM presents an enormous opportunity for the company.
“This is an enormous opportunity for us emerging exporters, if our humble beginning from a home and kitchen setup in 2002 until 2013, when we were struggling for financial backing, is anything to go by. Today we are lauding the Department of Trade and Industry (dti) for inspiring confidence through their incentive schemes,” said Phoku.
The company is part of the 23 local companies assisted by the dti to participate in the trade fair that gets underway on Monday.
The dti through the Export Marketing and Investment (EMIA) Scheme offers financial and non-financial support to small, medium and micro-sized enterprises (SMMEs) to access global markets.
“The department has assisted us to acquire industrial equipment and the EMIA Scheme will ensure that our products are exposed to new export markets. We have also recently secured a grant from the dti’s Agro-processing Support Scheme (APSS) to beef up our equipment and transport needs,” said Phoku on Tuesday.
FACIM, ranks as the biggest trade show in Mozambique, will be held in the capital Maputo. The popular annual trade fair, which caters for a variety of products and services attracts the attention of companies from the world over.
Speaking ahead of next week’s fair, Trade and Industry Minister, Rob Davies, said government through the National Industrial Policy Framework seeks to promote intra-Africa trade and an increase on the levels of industrialisation in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the rest of the African continent.
“The promotion of South Africa’s commercial value proposition at FACIM is a significant tool towards the achievement of this important objective,” said Davies.
A Soweto based black-owned jewellery manufacturing company that produces bracelets, earrings, pendants and necklaces also forms part of the delegation.
Co-Director of She Met Jewellery Shermina Motlhasedi said the company is export ready and has set its sights on the Mozambican market.
“Mozambique as an emerging economy is a very attractive investment destination for us seeing that the South African jewellery market is currently very small and is experiencing a decline. However, we are hoping to establish a following that will seal a number of business deals and eventually see us exporting our product range to Mozambique,” she said.
The company has received assistance from the dti on the essentials of becoming export-ready.
“We will use the experience acquired through the Export Marketing and Investment Assistance Scheme to target international markets. The department makes it possible for small, medium and micro-sized enterprises (SMMEs) to tap into the complex export market,” she said.
Davies said another objective for showcasing at FACIM is to reduce the current trade imbalance between South Africa and Mozambique.
Currently South African goods and services holds a dominant position over those of Mozambique.
“The total trade volume in 2017 stood at R51 billion and the trade balance between our countries in 2017 was R 26.6 billion in favour of South Africa. It is this imbalance that we are actively trying to steer away from by ensuring that both our countries significantly benefit from our bilateral relations and that the economic benefits of growth and development are accrued on both sides of our borders,” said Davies.
In 2017, FACIM hosted 1940 exhibitors, 1 400 national and 540 international companies from 20 countries and was visited by 80 000 people.
The trade fair will run from 27 August - 3 September 2018. - SAnews.gov.za