CAPE TOWN - Cape Town-based wine exporter Robinson and Sinclair will form part of a South African business delegation participating in the Department and Trade and Industry's trade mission to Ghana and Nigeria next week.

The firm is one of the companies that will get an opportunity to explore export opportunities in the countries participating in the Outward Trade and Investment Mission taking place in Accra and Lagos from March 19 - 23.

The purpose of the mission, which will be led by the department, is to advance South Africa's export and investment agenda to West Africa and to strengthen commercial and economic relations with the two countries.

Stephanie Joubert, Africa sales manager at Robinson and Sinclair, which currently employs six people, said on Friday participating in the mission would further assist them to explore expanding the reach of their products.

"We feel highly honoured to have been selected as one of the companies that will be representing South Africa during the mission. We would love to extend our footprint in the rest of Africa as this is a market that we have not managed to properly get into so far," said Joubert.

She said the firm had participated in numerous missions led the department so far and has enjoyed every experience and added that these missions have given the company great exposure to international markets.

Joubert said that as a result the company had been able to establish networks in those countries.

"Previous participation has exposed us to doing business all around the globe visiting private clients, trade visits and wine shows. We have also made linkages with new importers and distributors worldwide, at the same time regaining contact with our existing importers. We wanted to participate in this mission so we can piggy back on the current efforts by our government to increase trade with the West Africa region."

The business delegation, which leaves tomorrow (Sunday, March 18), will participate in business seminars, business to business meetings, mini exhibitions, business round tables as well as site visits to different companies in Accra and Lagos.

The companies have been assisted through the department's Export Marketing and Investment Assistance Sheme.

According to Wesgro stats on Ghana, trade between Ghana and South Africa, Ghana's service exports grew by 200 percent in 2015 to reach $6.1bn, led by a growth in other business services.

FRUIT OF THE VINE: Tourists are flocking to the Cape’s wine estates. Picture: Thomas Holder
Global exports of goods were valued at $10bn in 2016 declining from $12bn in 2015, decreasing by 14 percent and global imports in 2016 were valued at $13bn compared to $15bn in 2015, decreasing by 13 percent.

The leading export product from South Africa to Ghana was motor vehicles valued at $41.37 million followed by monitors and projectors, $11.92m and polymers of propylene valued at $11.56m.

The leading export product category from the Western Cape in 2016, valued at $5.3m were apples, pears and quinces followed by fruit juice, $4.6m and wine, $1.2m.
Wesgro trade stats on Nigeria showed that South Africa is Nigeria's fourth largest export market, importing $4.58bn worth of goods in 2015, declining by 11 percent from 2014 while the Western Cape exported goods to the value of $168.86m in 2015, compared to $220.4m in 2014, representing and increase of 23.8 percent.

A  total of 17 foriegn direct investment projects were recorded in the period from the Western Cape to Nigeria and the Distell Group from the Western Cape was the largest investor into Nigeria valued at $146m.