Posted: June 10, 2023
The potential and advantages that the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) presents have impressed the business community of Limpopo. An interactive information-sharing workshop on the implementation of the AfCFTA, including opportunities for South African businesses to participate in preferential trade outside Southern Africa, was attended by the private sector including Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), as well as women- and youth-owned and export-ready businesses. The workshop tookplace in Polokwane yesterday.
The Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the dtic) collaborated with the Limpopo Economic Development Agency (LEDA) to host the event. It was one of several workshops that the department is conducting across the country between from May to July 2023. The purpose of the workshops is to consult and interact with businesses regarding the implementation of the AfCFTA.
The Chief Executive Officer of AmiSkin, which produces skincare products, Ms Amelia Ramphadi, expressed her satisfaction about the information she obtained during the workshop. She said the information will be valuable to her plans to take advantage of the new market opportunities derived from the AfCFTA. She plans to export her products to other African countries, especially Ghana and Angola, where she says there has been an interest in her products following her participation in a trade mission with LEDA. Ramphadi currently exports her products produced from moringa and carrots to Zimbabwe and Namibia.
“I attended the workshop with the intention of getting more information about these new export markets and the broader export value chains. I am pleased with the outcome and the information shared on how to take advantage of this agreement,” adds Ramphadi.
Ms Lele Sithole of Chumelele Poultry also shared her satisfaction with the information shared at the workshop and expressed appreciation for clarity she gathered on the export value chains across Africa.
“I was particularly pleased with the engagements with other businesspeople and the dtic officials. In addition to the benefits and opportunities of the AfCFTA, I am grateful to have gathered more information on the offerings of various government departments and agencies with regards to issues of compliance, quality, as well as food import and export standards. I will be knocking on their doors. As small businesses we are hungry for growth and we want to emerge and flourish as exporters of proudly South African products,” said Sithole.
“The benefits and opportunities that the AfCFTA is bringing to the South African companies are truly remarkable. We will expand our market access, enabling our businesses to reach over 1.3 billion consumers across Africa. This is expected to spark a surge in trade, allowing our enterprises to explore new markets, boost exports, and increase revenue. The implementation of the AfCFTA is a milestone in our journey towards economic integration and prosperity in Africa,” said the Director of Africa Bilateral Economic Relations at the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the dtic), Mr Calvin Phume.
He added that the AfCFTA represents a remarkable achievement, symbolising the collective commitment to harnessing the potential of trade to drive growth, create jobs, and uplift the lives of millions of people across the continent. With the establishment of this continental free trade area, he said, the continent has embarked on a transformative path towards increased intra-African trade and enhanced economic cooperation.
The Chief Executive Officer of AmiSkin, which produces skincare products, Ms Amelia Ramphadi.
Bongani Lukhele – Director: Media Relations
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Issued by: The Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the dtic)