South African Businesspeople Relish Prospects of Exporting to Russia0
A group of twenty businesspeople who will be departing for Novosibirsk, Russia on Sunday are relishing the prospects of exporting their goods and services to Russia and contributing in increasing trade between South Africa and the European country. The businesspeople will be participating in the 10th Investment and Trade Initiative (ITI) to Russia from 24-27 October 2017.
According to the Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies, the ITI is part of the department’s Integrated National Export Strategy, which is the country’s blueprint towards ensuring export that is promoting industrialisation in order to spur economic growth.
“The strategy aims to increase South Africa’s capacity for exporting diversified and value-added goods and services to various global markets. All international trade missions are part of our efforts to promote SA’s value-added goods, and services abroad by broadening the export base, increasing market share in targeted high growth markets and sustaining market share in traditional markets. Companies that manage to secure export markets for their products are bound to increase their production to service the new markets and increase investments in their manufacturing facilities. In this way, they will contribute in growing the country’s economy and creating the much-need jobs,” says Minister Davies.
The confidence and optimism of the travelling businesspeople are buoyed by the fact that the last four ITIs to Russia contributed almost R3 million to SA exports to Russia, which have increased from R2.4 billion in 2011 to more than R4 billion in 2016. Total bilateral trade between the two countries has grown significantly over a six-year period from R3.4 billion in 2011 to R7.8 billion in 2016.
Eight of the companies that will be travelling to Novosibirsk are wine makers, as the department has identified an increase in demand for the South African wines in Russia. This is evident in the 58% increase of SA wine exports to Russia ccompared to 2015, amounting to the value of R273 million.
The Managing Director of the Stellenbosch wine company, Thandi Wines, Mr Vernon Henn attributes the high demand to the European Union’s economic sanctions against that Russia, that have resulted in the supplies from France, Italy and Spain dwindling.
“The Russians have been exposed to the SA wine and have increasingly fallen in love with its taste and quality. This has resulted in an increase in exports of both bulk and bottled SA wines to Russia. This provides local wine producers with an opportunity to increase our export to the country,” says Henn.
The Managing Director of Port Elizabeth-based La Mohair, Ms Lansa Primmer, is confident that the mission will enable her to expand their export market to Russia, as their products are already exported to several Scandinavian countries.
“We are confident that we will successfully penetrate the Russian market as our products fit perfectly with their predominantly cold weather. Our products are doing well in several Scandinavian countries. We are optimistic that the Russians will also fall in love with them. We hope to find clients or distributors in Novosibirsk who will be interested in working with us and help us establish a market for our products in various parts of Russia,” says Primmer.
The Managing Director of the Bronkhorspruit-based Africa Merino Trading, Mr Simo Simov also pins his hopes on the cold Russian weather, expressing confidence that his merino sheep skins and wool will appeal to the Russian shoe and clothing manufacturers.
“We have exported our products to Moscow before but that market gradually shrank and eventually collapsed after the imposition of economic sanctions against Russia. We are looking forward to opening a new market in the Novosibirsk region as there are several shoe and clothing manufacturers there that we are targeting. I have already invited our former clients that are based in Moscow in order to discuss possibilities of reviving that market for our products,” says Simov.
The Managing Director of Beeake Engineering Solutions, Mr Kgopotse Moagi also harbours expectations of returning with orders for the fabrication steel products that his Johannesburg-based company manufactures.
“In addition to exposing our products, skills and expertise to the Russian market, we are also undertaking the trip in order to seek funding for the coal prospecting and lithium projects that we are currently working on. We will be targeting Russian mining companies for possible partnerships and potential investors to solicit funding for the projects,” says Moagi.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of The Department of Trade and Industry, South Africa.