November 11 - Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies with DesSoft business developer Mark Taylor at the China International Import Expo in Shanghai. Photo: dti

PRETORIA  - Many business opportunities for South African companies are available in China, according to South African companies that exhibited at the 1st China International Import Expo (CIIE) from November 5 to 10 in Shanghai, the trade and industry department (dti) said on Sunday.

DesSoft business developer Mark Taylor said in a statement issued by the dti the trip to China CIIE had been very successful and the company had excellent leads to work on. Their participation had been a wonderful platform to engage other companies and countries as well and not just local Chinese companies.

“We got major opportunities to work into China. The leads that I have had, the feet that have come past here have been of high level. I would say this has been quite easily the best of pavilions that I have been to. We travel regularly with dti and some very focused trips that we have been to in other countries. This is the one that has proven to have the best opportunities for us that we could grab immediately. We really are truly blessed to have been here,” Taylor said.

Port Elizabeth-based company the Little Slipper co-CEO Kate Horne, who also represented the South African Footwear and Leather Export Council, said there was a phenomenal market for the sector in China. The Little Slipper manufactured footwear and specialised in children's leather footwear. 

“Yes, every day we walk away excited by the contacts we have made each day. We’ve got a constant flow of people showing interest in our product as it is very unique and different. They can see the quality that we produce and we have definitely been approached by lots of E-commerce sites, lots of trading houses, government officials, and even an opportunity to mingle with other targeted countries that we could possibly export to," Horne said.

Pioneer of Durability Engineering CEO Seponono Kekana said her effort in participating in the CIIE were not in vain as it had enabled her to meet not only Chinese but other potential clients from Africa. Kekana said she had contacts ready to be followed up.

“I have the contacts already that a have spoken to, a number of African countries. I have spoken to Ghana, Senegal that were [here]. I have spoken to Kenya who were also here. There is actually a number of Africa countries that are here. I have the contacts and have already spoken to them in terms of value add and I think Nigeria was very keen. I have spoken to them also. There’s a lot of infrastructure investment in Africa from China and I think these type of services is very good and necessary,” Kekana said.

South Africa’s current export basket to China consisted mainly of minerals and raw materials, hence the CIIE presented an opportunity to showcase the diversity of value added products South Africa was able to export to China, the dti said.

The South African delegation was made up of a mix of well-established companies and export councils representing the agro-processing, engineering, chemicals, rail, infrastructure, consumer goods, and ICT sectors. The CIIE event also provided an opportunity to showcase some export-ready black industrialist companies, it said.

- African News Agency (ANA)