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South Africa must be fast preempted Africa enterp

         Date: 2012-03-14

           Tag: South Africa preempted, Africa enterp

Summary: The African market has the rich business opportunities, so, economists advocate South Africa enterprise should fast preempted African business opportunities.

The African market has the rich business opportunities, so, economists advocate South Africa enterprise should fast preempted African business opportunities.

"Many African economies are looking at growth rates of 7% plus, while Europe is facing zero to 2% over the next few years. As I see it we have a three to five year window of opportunity to grab the best business opportunities now presenting itself in Africa, before the rest of the world catches on. We will face competition not only from the usual suspects like China, India, and France, but also from the likes of Brazil and Argentina," Flaatten said.

Trade missions to Africa

Flaatten said Wesgro was leading a number of trade missions to countries in Africa to open up trade channels for local businesses. The agency will lead trade missions for local companies across various sectors to Ghana and Cote d'Ivore before the end of March and a number of African trade missions are planned for later in 2012.

Flaatten said Wesgro had a team of experts who were available to help local business people with trade information and contacts, and encouraged prospective exporters to join its Export Development Programme, which is presented in three phases. Wesgro's recently upgraded website is also set up as a trade portal where buyers and sellers can register and speak to one another. Even big multinationals use it to look for business opportunities.

Free trade area very promising development

Keynote speaker Michael Lalor, leader of Ernst & Young's (E&Y) Africa Business Centre in Cape Town, said E&Y has identified 25 rapid growth markets around the world. Four of the 25 were in Africa - South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana and Egypt.

"Many people would be surprised to know that sub-Saharan Africa had been growing faster than East Asia in the past eight years and that it will be the second fastest growing region in the world in the next ten years. By 2015, seven of the fastest growing economies in the world will be from Africa," Lalor said.

The most promising development is probably the proposed free trade area between three African trading blocs - the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the East African Community (EAC) and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA).

This free trade area will include 26 countries, between 500 and 700 million consumers and 52% of total African GDP. The bloc would only be rivalled by China and India in terms of market size and would be the 15th largest economy in the world.

Wesgro economist and African trade specialist Julius Okiror said in 2010 Angola was the Western Cape's biggest African market for beverages, spirits and vinegar, Benin was the biggest market for edible fruits and nuts, Mozambique was the biggest market for mineral fuels, oils and distillation products as well as machinery and equipment.


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