Every amount of trade taking place between South Africa and Asia is a positive movement towards growing and cementing of mutually beneficial economic trade relations, says Ms. Mpho Hlahla, the South African Consul-General in Shanghai.
Hlahla said this during the official opening of the South African National Pavilion at the 19th SIAL China International Trade Fair for Food taking place in Shanghai, China.
Hlahla pronounced on the fact that twenty-three of South Africa’s agro-processing companies succeeding in showcasing on a platform regarded as Asia’s largest food innovation exhibition demonstrated how well regarded and in demand South African-made products were in the region.
“You have to appreciate that this is a premium show and that not all countries get an opportunity to present here. Being here for us simply means that we have products that are of exceptional quality, that are well-packaged and that are very much on demand in this market. I am particularly pleased to see a variety of products on display and certainly trust that the markets will buy into our products and do hope that in addition to China, patrons visiting this three-day expo will test our products and reach positive conclusions,” said Hlahla.
In addition, Hlahla extended an invitation to export-ready local companies that are looking to expanding their client base beyond South Africa’s borders.
“I call upon our business community to take this opportunity and explore China as a potential market. Our consulate is forever ready to assist in every aspect of doing business in this region,” she said.
The South African Trade and Industry Foreign Economic Representative in Shanghai, Mr Thulani Mpetsheni said that showcasing at SIAL had been a success in demonstrating South Africa’s diversified economy.
“To be here is but a very small step in that direction because this is not the end of the journey. After showcasing what we are able to produce and present at this pavilion we will then follow up on those companies that we have given access to the market to determine the progress made. This links with the Department of Trade and Industry’s (the dti) Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP) strategic objective of seeking to develop local industries and sourcing market for developed products. More exports will certainly mean more creation of jobs,” said Mpetsheni
He added that China was more than a gateway to Asia. It is the destination for Asia and for the world.
“A market of 1.4 billion people is impossible to ignore and it needs more focus, it needs more resources. If the South African government had more resources, we would do more after-exhibition-activities,” he stressed.
SIAL China is a leading platform for international producers and manufacturers of food products, wines, spirits and food service equipment.