Networking with Nigeria

Trade mission meets with success

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Earlier this year Wesgro’s Trade Unit embarked on a mission to Nigeria. As a result 10 declarations were signed with an estimated economic impact of R328 million over the next five years, with the potential to create 75 jobs in the Western Cape.

The mission formed part of Wesgro’s Africa International Trade and Outward Foreign Direct Investment Programme, which helps local businesses ready to invest in the rest ofAfrica. The delegation comprised of 16 companies, five of which were Halal Certified, looking to establish trade and investment ties in Nigeria.

The mission programme comprised of business networking seminars and b2b meetings designed to provide a platform for Western Cape companies to meet their Nigerian counterparts with the view of signing business deals and partnerships. Sectors of focus included Agribusiness, engineering and oil and gas.

Addressing delegates at the Business Networking Forum hosted by Wesgro in Lagos, the Chairman of the Nigeria-South Africa Chamber of Commerce, Mr Foluso Olajide Phillips, indicated that the Nigerian economy is slowly recovering from recent years of economic hardship caused by the oil price crash of 2014, which created havoc across oil exporting regions around the globe.

He continued that the economy has since seen growth in agricultural exports, with lower inflation rates bringing lower interest rates resulting in a significant increase in public expenditure.

“These factors coupled with the large market of over 180 million people provide unlimited opportunities for Western Cape companies wanting to do business in Nigeria. We want to thank our partners, in particular the Deputy Director-General of the Department of Economic Development and Tourism (DEDAT), for your continued support—especially in the expanding of the Western Cape's Halal footprint in the rest of Africa,” commented Wesgro’s Head of International Trade, Denan Kuni.

Wesgro CEO, Tim Harris, added: “The Nigeria—South African Chamber of Commerce is Wesgro’s strategic partner in Nigeria. Through our partnership, Wesgro’s delegates are able to tap into the vast network of the Chamber’s members, made up of a variety of key business sectors of the Nigerian economy. Further to this, the Chamber has been instrumental in intensifying Nigerian and South African business relationships in the area of promoting bi-lateral trade and investment.”

The presence of multinational oil companies and growth in the telecommunication sector has generated a significant level of business opportunities for companies operating in sectors such as agriculture, agribusiness, manufacturing and light engineering.

In addition, the Nigerian government is spending much more than the previous administrations on capital projects, such as road construction, rail works and power, with the aim of stimulating economic growth in the region and diversifying away from an over-reliance on oil for revenue.

Highlighting the importance of this African market, Cape Town Executive Mayor Patricia de Lille said: “We are competing in a global village and in doing so our Economic Growth strategy also has a strong focus on building economic ties with the rest of the Africa and contributing to the Africa Rising narrative through our Enhanced African Agenda. It is key to create an enabling environment for Cape Town businesses to trade and invest with Nigeria as Africa’s biggest economy.”

Minister of Economic Opportunities, Alan Winde commented: “The Wesgro trade unit has recorded yet another successful trade mission, securing ten new trade declarations, with a focus on Halal, agri-processing and the oil and gas sectors which form the cornerstones of our Project Khulisa growth strategy. We look forward to developing our relationship with Nigerian businesses and growing trade between our countries and on the African continent as a whole.”

“Nigeria is the latest stop on a programme of trade missions organised by Wesgro in the 2018-19 financial year—with the strategic objective of positioning the Western Cape as key supplier of products and services into Africa. The Nigerian market is known for being difficult to infiltrate however, once you gain market access, the opportunities across sectors are extensive. We are excited to see Western Cape companies extend their footprint in this significant African market,” concluded Wesgro’s Head of International Africa Trade, Michael Tiam-Gamwo.

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