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Liesl Venter - Non-Traditional Markets Showcased To Grow Experts

An aggressive drive to diversify South Africa's export markets is under way.

"Finding new markets and exporting goods and services is where we see real hope for our industries," Joan Warburton-McBride, CEO of the Johannesburg Chamber of Commerce and Industry told FTW.

Several workshops, forums and other initiatives to showcase new markets to business are being planned.

More importantly, said Warburton-McBride, they were not just looking at the usual international markets but were focusing on finding markets that were not traditionally targeted by South African companies.

These include Vietnam, Cambodia and Myanmar as well as Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia, Laos and Brunei, all part of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

"We are also looking at Iran, Saudi-Arabia and Pakistan," said Warburton-McBride. "At the heart of this drive to grow exports is to keep our companies and their growth trajectory positive."

She said a lot of effort had gone into growing the African market over the past five years and on the whole exports into the continent had increased.

"We had a very strong African focus and we will continue to look at the continent, but we believe there are some real opportunities in markets that have been neglected to date."

She said Johannesburg's proximity to markets thanks to its connectivity via OR Tambo International Airport made it an extremely viable option for exports dependent on air.

"For the next four months we are concentrating very heavily on getting more people into the export market."

Exporting was the one lifeline to business at present, she added. "There is no question that operating conditions at the moment are harsh - and the short- to medium-term outlook - particularly for small to medium enterprises - is not good. The economy is not growing and they are under tremendous pressure."

Warburton-McBride said now more than ever these businesses had to be exposed to new opportunities. "Finding new markets and exporting goods and services is where we see real hope for our industries."

Article courtesy of Freight and Trade Weekly

 Liesl Venter NonTraditional Markets Showcased To Grow Experts.PNG

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