The Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition, Mr Ebrahim Patel, says he wants to prioritise export promotion in all work streams of his department.

He was addressing the virtual launch of the Black Industrialists Export Network. The network is aimed at strengthening efforts to boost the expansion of export markets for local businesses.  This in turn is hoped will enable Black Industrialists to succeed in complex markets, and make it easier for them to access export finance, marketing avenues, and a flexible basket of advice and support suited to their unique needs.

This initial meeting provided an opportunity to share ideas in respect of working together with black industrialists to facilitate entry of their products and services into export markets, highlight opportunities and challenges that they might be experiencing, as well as consider proposals on the workings and offerings of the export network.

Minister Patel said this initiative builds on the success of the Black Industrialists Programme of the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the dtic)  thus far. He said every part of the dtic, including Sector Desks, Incentives Schemes, Trade Agreements and others will have to make export promotion a key performance area of their work.

He explained that exports provide the opportunity for industrialists to expand their markets beyond the South African market  and there is therefore a need to expand the scope, through a focused export effort.

“The reality is that export markets are tougher than the South African market for business operators. That means that the effort that firms working with government put in should be quite considerable. It is important for us to succeed at this because export can help us achieve wider goals of economic growth and job creation. The Black Industrialists Export Network will combine efforts to break into new markets. This should give local black businesses scale,” he said.

Minister Patel revealed at the session that currently the biggest export market for South African manufactured products, is the African continent with the value of R236 billion in the past year, followed by the European Union at R184 billion for the same period and the United States at R63 billion.

He added that multiple tools will be utilised to facilitate continuous dialogue between the department and the Black Industrialists, so that the dtic is on the pulse of the challenges business encounter and can plan on immediate and future interventions. Among these tools will be a WhatsApp group, a dedicated email address, as well as  physical and virtual sessions that will be used to promote engagements.

“Exposure to new competitors [in other markets] compels businesses to adapt to new business technologies and business methods which they can bring back to local markets and it helps to strengthen their business.” he added.

Patel said even though the new network is no guarantee for success, it is an opportunity that Black Industrialists can use to increase value in their business ventures.


Bongani Lukhele – Director: Media Relations
Tel: (012) 394 1643
Mobile: 079 5083 457
WhatsApp: 074 2998 512
Issued by: The Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the dtic)
Follow us on Twitter: @the_dti

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