The South African companies that were exhibiting at the 1st China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai China last week said that there are business opportunities for South African companies’ in China.
The Business Developer of DesSoft, Mark Taylor, says their trip to China CIIE has been very successful as they have excellent leads to work on. He says their participation has been a wonderful platform to engage with other companies and countries as well and not just local Chinese companies.
“We got major opportunities to work into China. The leads that I have had, the feet that have come past here have been of high level. I would say this has been quite easily the best of pavilion that I have been to. We travel regularly with the dti and some very focused trips that we have been to on other countries. This is the one that has proven to have the best opportunities for us that we could grab immediately. We really are truly blessed to have been here. We got some good leads, some big Chinese organisations that have said yes they want to work with us. So we are really excited to see how we can grow our foot print into this market,” says Taylor.
The CO-CEO of the Port Elizabeth based company the Little Slipper: Kate Horne, who also represented the South African Footwear and Leather Export Council, says there is a phenomenal market for the sector in China. The Little Slipper is manufacturing footwear and specialises in children leather footwear. The company is amongst others the supplier for Woolworths South Africa.
Kate says it will be fantastic for their business if they can follow-up on the leads that they have received during the Expo.
“Yes, every day we walk away excited by the contacts we have made each day. We’ve got a constant flow of people showing interest in our product as it is very unique and different. They can see the quality that we produce and we have definitely been approached by lots of E-commerce sites, lots of trading houses, government officials and even an opportunity to mingle with other targeted countries that we could possibly export to. Yes, it has been fantastic opportunity for us and definitely there are lots of leads that we can follow-up and will create business for us in the future,” says Horne.
Horne adds that the work that the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) has done to create the platform for the industry to participate at the CIIE is phenomenal and they have learned a lot whilst been in China and the opportunity for South Africa to come bigger next year is remarkable.
The CEO of Pioneer of Durability Engineering: Seponono Kekana, says her effort of participating in the CIIE is not in vain as it has enabled her to meet not only with Chinese, but with other potential clients from Africa. Kekana says she has contacts already that she must follow-up with.
“I have the contacts already that a have spoken to, a number of African countries, I have spoken to Ghana, Senegal that was, I have spoken to Kenya who was also here. There is actual a number of Africa countries that are here. I have the contacts and have already spoken to them in terms of value add and I think Nigeria was very keen, I have spoken to them also. There’s a lot of infrastructure investment in Africa from China and I think these type of services is very good and necessary,” adds Kekana.
Kekana’s company is a specialised monitoring company that is intending to work with Chinese on infrastructure in Africa. She says that they can play a monitoring role and be a true third party acting on behalf of different governments and primarily making sure that they don’t only get infrastructure but quality one as they are between design company and construction.
South Africa’s current export basket to China consist mainly of minerals and raw materials, hence the CIIE presented us with an opportunity to showcase the diversity of value-added products South Africa is able to export to China.
The South African Delegation was made up of a mix of well-established companies and Export Councils representing the agro-processing, engineering, chemicals, rail, infrastructure, consumer goods and ICT sectors. The CIIE event also provided us with an opportunity to showcase some of our export ready Black industrialist companies.
27 South African organisations which included provincial investment agencies, Special Economic Zones, Export Councils, as well as private companies were participating in the China International Import Expo. The delegation was funded by the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) through the Export Marketing and Investment Assistance (EMIA) Scheme.
South African Foreign Economic Representative in Shanghai, China Thulani Mpetsheni says South Africa was well positioned right next to the stand of the Host Country – the China stand and other well-known trading international nations like Russia, Canada, Great Britain, Mexico, and Brazil, amongst others.
He says it is no doubt that the South African stand was well placed and envied by many other countries. Mpetsheni adds that the registration process for the show has been very stringent, promising to provide well-chosen visitors and therefore strictly buyers to come to the show.
“Over and above the position in the exhibition, and the possibly good selection of visitors, the stand design and look of the South African Pavilion was outstanding. Therefore, the stage was well set for the South African companies, organizations, and agencies and the table prepared. The South African companies and entities at the show presented a well-balanced geographic spread,” says Mpetsheni.