Chinese / African Trade

Chinese / African Trade


China has become a major investor in important sectors of the South African economy. The two countries share in the quest for economic growth and job creation, and opportunities extend from textiles to skills development. If South Africa is to achieve its vision of a GDP of R20 trillion by 2020, the country needs resources to be able to develop rural areas, expand on infrastructure networks and to build more secure and thriving communities

Africa’s economic growth is not only driven by demand for its commodities, but also retail, telecommunications, financial services, infrastructure and agricultural industries. Member of Gauteng’s Mayoral Committee for Economic Development, Sello Lemao, said that South Africa has a lot to learn from China in terms of good business practices. There are many opportunities for growth and development through bilateral trade, and South Africa is China’s key trade partner in Africa. Business between the two countries amounts to billions of Rand and is growing at an accelerated pace.

Promoting trade initiatives

To further motivate trade initiatives, The China Sourcing Fair will be held at Gallagher Convention Centre for the second consecutive year. This year, it will be hosted from 30 November until 2 December 2011. The sector-specific exhibitions will include electronics, solar and energy saving products, gifts and premiums, home products, baby and children’s products, fashion accessories, hardware and building materials. The exhibition and conference is being organised by Global Sources.

Global sources general manager, Bill Janeri says: “Country-specific exhibitions have become common practice by countries who want to create opportunities for their national brands and manufacturing competencies in global markets. The China Sourcing Fair is one of the most diversified country-specific presentations of products, systems and services, thus creating many different trading opportunities for different sectors of commerce and industry of the host country, in this case South Africa.”

Janeri says that, notwithstanding online solutions including e-commerce, exhibitions and events represent a strategic medium in the communication mix, especially as the number of shows grow year on year globally, including South Africa in both quality and content: a “They create a window of opportunity to touch and engage. The cycle of ‘time to market’ is becoming shorter and there is a new urgency to communicate directly with traders and traders with suppliers.”

Making new contacts

“Our exhibitors want to make new contacts and strengthen existing ones.” Says Janeri. “They are keen to market their merchandise and demonstrate that China provides South Africa with quality and affordable products. Our purpose is to provide buyers with direct face-to-face access to a large number of Chinese suppliers. Product sourcing and supplier evaluation processes have been re-engineered. Most of the world’s leading brands manufacture their products in China – from automotive components to cell phones. They can ill afford to have their image tarnished by inferior quality, although they reap the benefits of price/performance ratios. The Chinese are capable of producing world class products at lower costs, mainly as a result of efficient sourcing and supply strategies.”

Around the world there are many markets in transformation, moving from a third world environment, to a developmental status. South Africa has successfully moved through several processes and is respected in China for its innovative behaviour on the economic, political and social fronts. With the world’s population having more than doubled in the last 50 years, there are many challenges to give people access to affordable commodities. China has risen to this challenge and South African entrepreneurs have become pivotal in the supply chain. Improved trade and economic cooperation and common development of the two countries, facilitated by both governments, contribute to economic development and people progress. The growing number of South Africans with disposable income will continue the cycle of wealth creation, which will further fuel the need to access quality yet affordable goods and services. The China Sourcing Fair is seen as an enabler for this process.

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