A total of 200 export industry delegates and 27 exhibitors are billed to attend the first Eastern Cape Export Symposium and Exhibition at the Abbotsford Christian Centre in East London between the 27 and 28th of March.
An initiative of the Eastern Cape Development Corporation (ECDC) in partnership with the Buffalo City and Nelson Mandela Bay metros, the symposium will bring together industry experts, established exporters and export-ready small businesses with the aim of facilitating high-value export deals and for forming new trade collaborations between existing and export-ready businesses. Exhibitors will be ready to provide expert assistance and to showcase their products and services.
The event will be officially opened by the Honourable MEC for Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism, Lubabalo Oscar Mabuyane with the Executive Mayor of the Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality (BCMM) Xola Phakathi. On the speakers list are industry experts from the export community such as the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), Department of Trade and Industry (thedti), Export Credit Insurance Corporation of South Africa, Airports Company of South Africa (ACSA), Port of Ngqurha, ECDC, Nelson Mandela Business Chamber, BCMM, Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality, Nedbank and ABSA.
A networking event focusing on the creative and visual arts in the Eastern Cape will also form part of the programme.
“This is not intended to be a talk shop. It is aimed at doing business and clinching export deals. The intention is to expose export-ready SMMEs to experienced exporters in order to learn from them and at the same time introduce them to key role-players in the sector in order to facilitate ease of entrance into the export market.
Discussion topics will range from the state of exports in the Eastern Cape, the Eastern Cape Special Economic Zones, export finance, market development, the Export Development Programme and doing business with the various trade regional blocks,” says ECDC Head of Trade, Investment and Innovation Thabo Shenxane.
Shenxane says the Eastern Cape should rightfully be positioned and entrenched as an export hub. The province has the ingredients necessary to energise the trade sector and to facilitate foreign and local investment with the aim of increasing the number of exporters in the province and entering new markets.
In addition, the symposium will offer professional development, avail information on growth sectors and provide market and networking opportunities for emerging, existing and seasoned exporters. There will also be robust discussions on how to increase exports into Africa and elsewhere.