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Intra-African Trade – the Cure for the Economic Recession?

“Africa’s intra-trade statistics are unacceptably low,” says Stephen Oehley, Director at South African Trade Promotions, responsible for the BRICS Africa portfolio,

July 9, 2012 - PRLog -- “Intra-Africa trade is at a level of around 11 percent of total trade as compared to Europe’s inter-trade levels of around 70 percent, which is clearly not making enough use of the continent’s potential”.

In an effort to help to rectify that situation, South African Trade Promotions has brought DHL2012 BRICS Africa Export Import Forum to South Africa, with the aim of linking together businesses with a desire to expand their operations to the rest of the African continent and also within the recently established BRICS nations.

The forum, to be held at Gallagher Estates in Midrand, will start on the 16 of July, with Gauteng MEC for Economic Development Ms Qedani Mahlangu delivering the keynote address.

“BRIC countries, which include Brazil, Russia, India and China, are large industrialized countries with vast populations all showing significant middle class growth. These four countries with massive foreign reserves are spending huge sums of money to build infrastructure and to increase domestic consumption,” says Oehley.

He says this is a great opportunity for South African businesses to explore the many opportunities available right on our doorstep including retail, commodity trading, financial services, education, and logistics.

Oehley says South African businesses have dialed down their risk appetite for new investments in the past few months, judging by the high stock-piles of cash that they are sitting on and perhaps as a reaction to the current global economic environment. But Oehley believes there has never been a better time to tap into the growing BRIC and African economies that are still showing signs of significant growth relative to the industrialised nations.

“The African Free Trade Agreement (FTA) covering, as it does, three regional economic communities, the Common Market for East and Southern Africa, the East African Community and the Southern African Development Community, presents an ideal opportunity for innovative South African and indeed African entrepreneurial leaders to start looking into how they can tap into this extraordinary growth, export and trading opportunity,” says Oehley.

In support of all progressive businesses looking for African opportunities three streams will be presented at the conference:

1)   A programme of Intra BRICS country opportunities, including a presentation from the Indian High Commissioner in South Africa
2)   The future of Trade Africa including keynote speakers on how to do business in Africa as well as case studies and a presentation from the Pan African Chambers of Commerce and Industry
3)   A programme of educational workshops convened by the International Trade Institute of Southern Africa (ITRISA)

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Source:South African Trade Promotions
Location:Midrand - Gauteng - South Africa
Tags:Brics, Africa, Export, Import, Conference
Last Updated:Jul 09, 2012
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