Wesgro chief executive Tim Harris yesterday presented the agency's Global Economic Priorities for the Cape and outlined some optimistic plans for growing the investment and export trade in the Western Cape. Picture: Reuters
Cape Town - Wesgro, Cape Town and Western Cape’s tourism, trade and investment agency, has identified significant opportunities for Cape companies looking to invest, export and tap into the growth of the province’s tourism economy.

Tim Harris, chief executive of Wesgro, on Thursday presented the agency’s Global Economic Priorities for the Cape.

“Our economists and managers have surveyed growth trends, analysed markets and sectors and identified the agency’s priorities for the next financial year,” he said.

Harris said the Wesgro research unit would be setting the directions of the agency by adopting a new approach to tourism data, and publishing a report on the Top 100 companies in the Cape.

He said the trade unit, which promotes the province’s exports and company expansion into the rest of Africa, would focus on the continent, the EU, North America and Asia. It would prioritise wine sales to Angola and China and build halaal export capacity as part of the province’s Project Khulisa.

The investment promotion team would work across agro-processing, ICT, hotel and real estate development, pharmaceuticals and medical services, manufacturing, and oil as well as gas sectors in the coming year, he said.

Read also: Czech company invests R1.3bn in Western Cape

Harris said the agency’s destination marketing team, made up of Leisure Tourism and the Convention Bureau, would continue to promote niche activities such as cycling, gastronomy, culture and heritage as well as maintain Cape Town’s position as the leading business tourism destination in Africa by attracting more business events.

Economic Opportunities MEC Alan Winde said the brand of the Western Cape was growing tremendously and the government had made major progress in Project Khulisa’s focus areas. “Boosted by the success of Cape Town Air Access, international arrivals are up by 30%.

In oil and gas we’ve seen strong interest in the Saldanha Bay Industrial Development Zone with 34 investors in the pipeline.”

Some interesting trade statistics in the report of the Top 10 provincial exports’ value to Africa last year include Namibia (R12 billion), Botswana (R7.1 billion), Mozambique (R3.3 billion) and Kenya (R2.5 billion).

The Top 10 Western Cape export products last year include refined petroleum (R13.9 billion), citrus fruit (R10.1bn), wine (R9.3bn), apples, pears and quinces (R7 billion), grapes (R6.2 billion), iron and steel (R2.6 billion), fruit juice (R2.3 billion), fruit and nuts (R2.3 billion), tobacco (R1.6 billion) and fish (R1.6 billion).