City of Cape Town mayoral committee member for economic opportunities and asset management James Vos. Picture: Supplied

Cape Town - Over R1.8 billion worth of export deals have been signed by Cape Town-based companies in the 2018/19 financial year, the city said on Sunday.

"It is pleasing to note that Wesgro, the City of Cape Town’s international trade and investment promotion agency, has helped to facilitate over R1.8 billion worth of export deals for local companies in the 2018/19 financial year," mayoral committee member for economic opportunities and asset management James Vos said.

These figures were revealed in Wesgro’s combined quarterly report for the year against a set target of between R103 million and R210 million.

"I am particularly pleased with the agency’s performance during such challenging economic times. This achievement demonstrates the importance of exports to the Cape Town economy, to stimulate growth and create jobs," Vos said.

As a result of these export deals, 56 business agreements had been signed that would translate into about 733 jobs being created by exporters in Cape Town over the next five years.

The agreements were signed with buyers in countries such as Japan, Singapore, China, The Netherlands, Ethiopia, Senegal, France, the UK, Mozambique, Nigeria, Thailand, Malaysia, the US, Kenya, Rwanda, and the United Arab Emirates. It covered key sectors for the Cape Town economy, including agri-processing, manufacturing, medical devices, and cosmetics.

Wesgro also reported that as part of the Outward Foreign Direct Investment (OFDI) Strategy, which sought to help Cape Town companies invest in the rest of Africa, over 10 OFDI business agreements were signed during the financial year to the value of over R1.4 billion. This far exceeded the target range set at between R200 million and R500 million, Vos said.

"This strategy is a critical component of our efforts to leverage the projected growth on our continent, and to help ensure that Cape Town becomes the headquarters of choice for local and global companies looking to do business in the rest of Africa."

According to research conducted by Wesgro, over half of the companies surveyed on their Africa strategy said that Cape Town was the best, or one of the best base cities for doing business into the rest of Africa.

Currently, the Western Cape exported more to the rest of Africa than anywhere else in the world, valued at R46 billion as of 2018.

"These figures all confirm that Cape Town has established itself as the go to city on the African continent. We are committed to growing these figures further, and together with our mandated agency, Wesgro and our other special purpose vehicles, I am confident that even more jobs will be created in Cape Town by our globally competitive exporters," Vos said.

African News Agency (ANA)