Posted: June 1, 2023
The Limpopo private sector will be exposed to export opportunities that are presented by the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). This will happen during the Limpopo leg of the awareness workshop on the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement. The workshop will be hosted at Bolivia Lodge, Polokwane, Limpopo Province on Friday, 9 June 2023 by the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the dtic), in partnership with Limpopo Economic Development Agency (LEDA).
This is part of a series of workshops that the department is rolling out throughout the country from May-July 2023. The inaugural workshop took place in KwaZulu-Natal last week and was a success. Businesspeople who attended the KZN session welcomed the progress and benefits that the AfCFTA will afford their respective businesses once implemented.
According to the Chief Director of Africa Multilateral Economic Relations at the dtic, Mr Sandile Tyini, the workshop seeks to communicate and engage with the private sector, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), as well as women and youth-owned export ready businesses on the status of the implementation of the AfCFTA, including opportunities for South African companies to participate in preferential trade beyond the Southern African region. The AfCFTA intends to create a large single continental market with a population of about 1.3 billion people and a combined Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of approximately USD3.4 trillion
“These workshops will also identify companies, within the provinces, in the targeted sector master plans, as well as other priority sectors that wish to export to the rest of the continent. In addition, the workshops will expose export ready companies to the benefits of exporting under the AfCFTA,” says Tyini.
“The six sector master plans targeted for these workshops are steel and metal fabrication; agriculture and agro-processing; retail-clothing, textiles, footwear and leather (R-CTFL) value chain; automotive industry; sugar value chain; and forestry. Limpopo workshop will focus on agriculture and agro-processing; sugar value chain; forestry; as well as retail-clothing, textiles, footwear and leather (R-CTFL) value chain,” adds Tyini.
He explains the AfCFTA offers enormous opportunities for South African companies to expand and diversify their export base and volume beyond traditional export markets in Southern Africa, by exposing them to new markets in North, West, Central and Eastern Africa. The AfCFTA also provide mechanisms for emerging producers, SMEs as well as women and youth entrepreneurs to participate and benefit from the opportunities provided by the continental free trade area.
“This workshop is critical to enterprise development in Limpopo. It comes at an opportune time when our province envisions to stimulate and scale up manufacturing of the industrial base, mining and agriculture in the main. Agriculture is one of the growth sectors and through this workshop, the province is poised to position enterprises for opportunities in this market for finished agriculture products,” says the Group Chief Executive Officer of LEDA, Mr Thakhani Makhuvha.
Bongani Lukhele – Director: Media Relations
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Issued by: The Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the dtic)