Breaking Boundaries for Retail into Africa

Breaking Boundaries for Retail into Africa


The prospects for international retailers to tap into the vast potential for trade and business inAfricaand other emerging nations has increased exponentially with this development,” says Stephen Oehley, director of the Brics Africa Portfolio for Southern African Trade promotions.

Speaking about the recent inclusion of Future of Trade 2012 with the DHL BRICS Africa Export Import Forum in July this year, Oehley says there is a synergy between the events that covers all the bases for any business hoping to cut through the red tape of bureaucracy and forge new ties across borders.

South Africa’s strategic advantage

The fact that the events take place inSouth Africais strategically significant. The country’s sound financial sector and well-developed infrastructure as well as its history of independent decision making means it offers easy access to a consumer population inAfricaof close to one billion people. Added to this about 50 % of arable land is inAfrica, so there is enormous potential for retailers to procure new markets for produce. The country is also a leader in mineral and industrial output, electricity generation and sophisticated service industries, making it a preferred entry point into the rest of the continent.

Says Oehley: “The Future of Trade Africa covers the ‘how to’ aspect of doing business in Africa. It is a commerce exchange and business matchmaking platform and conference on how to succeed in Africa. Some of the big guns that have already made it on the continent offer case studies and advice for prospective investors who might have been put off by the perceived difficulty of doing business here.”

BRICS Africa Export Import Forum, meanwhile, is an event designed to keep importers and exporters abreast of the constantly changing dynamics of international trade among the powerful emerging BRICS (Brazil,Russia,India,ChinaandSouth Africa) economies.

“The Forum will provide a solid knowledge base to help facilitate partnerships and trade opportunities between BRICS nations and countries across the African continent,” says John Thomson, Managing Director of Exhibition Management Services, co-organisers of the event. The Forum is designed to maximise multilateral trade activity, and includes a programme of educational workshops as well as a series of Intra-BRIC trade opportunity presentations.

Trading knowledge

The workshops cover everything a prospective trader might want to know from the prerequisites for successful international trading to selecting carriers and third-party logistics providers. These are followed by a cocktail function where participants can meet with presenters and network with other traders.

The country opportunity presentations, meanwhile, comprise 45-minute themed slots, which are assigned to each of the BRICS countries.

“We’ve put together an interesting basket of talks that will enable representatives from each of the BRICS countries to put forward their case,” says Nada Reyneke head of International Trade at the Johannesburg Chamber of Commerce (JCCI). “These cover most of what a potential trader is likely to want to know, such as ease of conducting business, investment opportunities as well as import and export opportunities in that country.”

Of added value to the retailer, who can maximize his or her time outside of business is the fact that the Forum takes place alongside two other major shows;Africa’s Big Seven food and beverage trade exhibition and the Southern African International Trade Exhibition. With close on 800 exhibitors at these shows, the Forum delegates will have access to participants from more than 50 countries – and limitless trade opportunities.

Find out more

For more information on SAITEX, contact Anina Hough at Exhibition Management Services on +27 (0)11 783 7250 or email

For more information on the BRICS Africa Export/Import Forum and Future of Trade 2012, contact Stephen Oehley at SA Trade Promotions on +27 (0)11  026 6313 or email

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