Minister of Small Business Development Lindiwe Zulu File picture: Dumisani Dube

JOHANNESBURG - Minister of Small Business Development, Ms Lindiwe Zulu, challenged her Chinese counterparts and Chinese businesses to help open their markets to  South Africa ’s small and medium businesses.

Zulu is leading a South African small business delegation at this year’s China International Small and Medium Enterprises Fair (CISMEF) which takes place in Guanzhou , China , from October 10 to October 13. 

“Many SMMEs and Cooperatives have pointed out to us that their growth and sustainability is hampered by lack of access to markets. CISMEF must be a platform that opens the doors for many SMMEs to enter global markets”, said Zulu.

The department has made a commitment to facilitate market access to small businesses. “The over thirty businesses that we have brought here and many others back home are looking for an opportunity to grow their businesses. Our participation at this year’s CISMEF is our practical effort to promote market access”, said Zulu.

Zulu said that her department is using CISMEF as a catalyst to unlock markets for small businesses and cooperatives. “We are here to show you a taste of what South Africa can offer”.

Minister Zulu urged small businesses to seek markets beyond the borders of South Africa .

“The truth is that the walls separating nations are falling and the globe is getting smaller. However, the queues of the unemployed remain unacceptably long, especially in the developing world. CISMEF highlights the importance of global entrepreneurship that cuts across borders”.

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Zulu said that her department decided to be the co-hosts with China for this year’s CISMEF because government is committed to the goal of promoting and sustaining entrepreneurship.

“We believe that investing in small business will help us respond to the many socio-economic challenges that still stubbornly stare us in the face. Small businesses are the heartbeat of our economy and engine for economic growth and job creation,” Zulu.

Minister Zulu is accompanied by Ms Wendy Nelson, MEC for Finance, Economic and Enterprise Development in the North West province and Dr Ben Malakoane, MEC for Economic, Small Business Development, Tourism and Economic Affairs in the Free State .