25 March 2019

South Africa: SA Companies Eye Ghana

South African companies partaking in an Outward Trade and Investment Mission (OTIM) that gets underway today in Ghana are keen to explore trade and investment opportunities in that country.

Funded by the Department of Trade and Industry (dti), 30 local companies are partaking in the mission through the department's Export Marketing and Investment Assistance Scheme. The objective of the scheme is to develop export markets for South African products and services and to recruit new foreign direct investment into the country.

Electro Inductive Industries, which is a Cape Town based electro technical company, has benefitted from the Black Industrialists Programme and is keen to explore the Ghanaian market.

"We want to get into the export market and export our products to different countries. In Ghana we will be looking for people who can act as our agents, as well as customers who can buy transformers and mini substations directly from us.

"We have been gathering market intelligence in several countries such as Kenya, Zimbabwe and Zambia and we have realised that our products will be highly competitive in those markets due to their good quality and price," said the company's Chief Executive Officer Sydney Mabalayo.

The company is already exporting products to Namibia and Botswana.

The company is one of the more than 130 beneficiaries of the dti's Black Industrialists Incentive programme which aims to promote the participation of Black Industrialists as manufacturers in key sectors of the economy.

The programme provides key measures aimed at supporting majority black-owned manufacturing companies. These include access to finance, access to markets as well as skills development, among others.

Electro Inductive Industries is in the process of installing new machinery in its newly built factory. The company received R29 million from the Black Industrialists Incentive Scheme.

Meanwhile, Stellenbosch-based Western Cape wine company, La RicMal, is planning to invest in Ghana by setting up a bottling plant in the country.

Marketing Manager of La RicMal, Malcolm Green, said the decision to expand the company's footprint was motivated by the growing demand for South African wines in Ghana.

Speaking ahead of the trade mission, Minister Rob Davies said the mission is part of South Africa's investment-led bilateral trade approach with African countries aimed at increasing intra-Africa trade and investment.

Similarly, the South African Footwear and Leathers Export Council is on a mission to assist local manufacturers to penetrate the Ghanaian market.

Vice Chairperson of the Council, Tavonga Gonyora, said the council's mandate is to drive exports of footwear products from South Africa to different markets of the world in order to enable the sector to contribute in the country's economic growth and job creation.

"Our objective for travelling to Ghana is to get as many of our members as possible to partner with the local Ghanaian people who can distribute the South African-made footwear products in Ghana.

"The aim is to create mutually beneficial value-chains in both countries where we will provide our products to the Ghanaian entities to distribute and they generate revenue through the distribution of our products," said Gonyora.

The Council represents about 200 footwear and leather manufacturers in South Africa and is tasked with the responsibility of ensuring that its members are exposed to different markets of the world in order to increase exports of the footwear products.

Trade between South Africa and Ghana has increased from almost R4 billion in 2014 to R13 billion in 2018.

South Africa exported R4.4 billion worth of goods to the West African country in 2018, while imports were valued at R8.7 billion.

The mission will conclude on Saturday.

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