KZN Companies Intensify Global Trade With Ghana Mission
KZN Companies Intensify Global Trade With Ghana Mission

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KZN Companies Intensify Global Trade With Ghana Mission


New markets for KwaZulu-Natal companies and a boost for the province's Trade, Investment Promotion and Economic Development Programme (TIPED) were some of the spin-offs of the recent successful Trade and Investment KZN trade mission to Ghana.

Following a fruitful visit to Ghana in 2016, Trade & Investment KwaZulu-Natal (TIKZN), which promotes KZN as an investment destination and assists local companies to access international markets is intensifying efforts to promote foreign trade.

Endorsed by the Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, the objective of the latest trade mission from 28 February to 7 March 2018 was to meet organisations that expressed interest in KZN products and to consolidate tangible leads that would translate into lucrative export orders.

Several criteria set out by the Department of Trade and Industry Export Market and Investment Assistance influenced the recruitment and selection of companies exhibiting at the TIKZN pavilion. These were BEE status; at least two years in operation and at least six months of demonstrated production and capacity to produce for the export market.

Seven KZN companies, representing the targeted sectors of agriculture and agroprocessing; built environment; mining and capital equipment and cultural industries, participated in the Ghana International Trade Fair in Accra supported by TIKZN's BEE Fund.

As a direct result of the Ghanaian trade mission, Leo Garments, a manufacturer of protective outerwear from ballistic body armour to chemical, mining, blood and fat and rain protective wear, is engaging with two distributors.

"More importantly we are negotiating an agreement for a company to represent Leo Garments in the West African region. We hope to conclude this agreement by the end of May when the potential agent visits South Africa. An agent will develop distributors, resulting in a much larger distributor network," said Ravesh Rama, Managing Director of Leo Garments.

Sibongile Panky Silwanyana, Key Accounts Manager for Home Concept Furniture Manufacturing, said: "We hope to broaden our scope with small kitchen manufacturing businesses in Ghana. I feel confident that the leads we obtained will definitely contribute to new markets, improve our efficiency and increase our employment."

"We aim to do business with the people of Ghana and will strive towards providing a high standard of quality kitchens at affordable prices," she said.

Neville Matjie, Acting Chief Executive Officer at TIKZN said: "Our previous visit to Ghana generated some tangible leads and the need to further cement relationships with key stakeholders to catapult trade relations between the two countries cannot be emphasised."

"The marketing of our TIPED initiative also received a major boost during our discussions with the Ghanaian Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC), which falls directly under the Presidential Office."

During the talks between TIKZN's Executive Manager for Corporate Services, Mxolisi Miya, and Edward Ashong-Lartey, GIPC Director for Investor Services, a serious commitment was given by the Ghanaians to participate in the programme. "The discussions around the logistics and a possible Memorandum of Understanding are already underway between TIKZN and the Ghana IPC," said Miya.

"Such commitment will have far reaching benefits for South Africa and those investment promotion agencies operating within the borders of the South African Development Community (SADC)," he said.

Christina Pillay, Export Promotion Officer at TIKZN said: "Linkages for KZN companies have been created with members of various Ghanaian chambers and agencies who have the proven distribution channels and
local infrastructure to include a KZN brand or product into their portfolio.

"This provides a partnership between KZN and Ghanaian business entities to increase the South African market share into, not only Ghana, but the West African region."

"With both Ghana and South frica showing support for the new Continental Free Trade Agreement which will create a continental market of over one billion people, we look forward to increasing trade flows that are not reliant on the volatile prices of commodities - mainly oil - and lifting trade barriers inhibiting intra-Africa trade."

Research firm, Business Monitor International, forecasts that import demand will increase in 2018. The firm noted that after high inflation and a high central bank policy rate which limited consumption in 2016 and 2017, slowly improving economic growth, in the non-oil sector and easier credit access due to monetary easing, will see import demand for consumer goods increase gradually during the year.

A long coastline, two major ports and air routes to SA and other parts of the world make Ghana well positioned as a regional entry and exit point on trade routes. Given the diversity and abundance of Ghana's natural resources, the country has approximately twice the per capita output of the poorest countries in West Africa.

KZN Companies Intensify Global Trade With Ghana Mission

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