Suffolk: International Trade Group event highlights export opportunities in South Africa

SUFFOLK business leaders have been given an insight into potential opportunities in South Africa.

Anne Page, honorary consul for South Africa, and Jacob Mothopeng, marketing officer for trade at the South African High Commission were among the speakers at an event hosted by the Suffolk International Trade Group at Ufford Park Golf and Spa, near Woodbridge.

Members of the trade group, a partnership between Suffolk Chamber of Commerce and UK Trade & Investment East, heard about the advantages of doing business in South Africa, including the nation’s status as the largest economy in Africa, its corporate ethics and its level of investor protection.

“We were delighted and honoured that our guests illustrated why South Africa is the industrial and financial superpower in Africa.” said John Dugmore, chief executive of Suffolk Chamber. “Anne and Jacob highlighted the fact that South Africa has a sophisticated, well diversified economy and an extremely attractive destination for overseas business.”

The event was supported by Barclays, whose team of Matt Dabbs and Teresa Baffa highlighted low and high risk methods of payment, including the system of Letters of Credit which Barclays provides for South African banks.

Also among the speakers was Paul Baskerville, managing director of Suffolk-based business Master Farm Services, who spoke about his experience of supplying grain driers to the African market over a number of years.

“My message to Suffolk exporters looking to trade is simple.” said Paul. “Get involved in the chamber’s international trade group, get to know the market first, ensure you have market representation, keep the product simple, attend trade shows and there is no substitute for ‘face to face’ meetings.”

Most Read

Jim Fanshawe, manager of the Suffolk International Trade Group, said: “Breaking down the barriers to overseas trade is the way forward for the British economy.

“Our organisation is proof that Suffolk exporters are leading the way out of recession.

“The Trade Group is all about sharing knowledge and experience,” he added. “We work with UK Trade &Investment who have a package of services available to support fledgling exporters and we are pleased that we can raise awareness of this at the same time as offering peer networking and first rate exporting knowledge.”