The minister of trade and industry Rob Davies launched the National Exporter Development Programme yesterday promising to roll out a comprehensive support scheme that will guide small players into globally competitive exporters.
He said the programme was designed to assist and prepare exporters to become more active on the international stage.
Davies said South Africa needed to address the challenge of the current account deficit by increasing the export of the country’s value added products.
“Recent trade statistics show that as a country we are importing more than what we are exporting and this means that we have our work cut out to reverse this trend. We need to increase our exports, particularly the export of value added products. We need to capture all of the South African market by encouraging the manufacturing, procurement and consumption of the proudly South African products. We need to reduce the volume of imports by giving preference to the SA goods,” said Davies.
“The programme is intended to bring about an agreed standard set of interventions to support and improve the export readiness of companies in South Africa. There is going to be an evolutionary process that is going to begin with a company being a domestic export enterprise to being an explorer, to export aware, export ready and eventually being a global exporter,” said Davies
The programme will include developing a pool of export-ready companies, contributing to export growth, developing new markets and new export products through extensive capacity building and mentorship, provision of information and implementation of special projects including export villages and national pavilions.
Minister Davies said the success of the implementation will rely highly on partnerships. To this end, provincial MECs will sign a pledge to commit themselves and their departments to assist businesspeople in their respective provinces to access the programme and benefit from it. In addition, the Trade and Investment Division of the DTI signed a Memorandum of Agreement with Proudly South African to assist in the implementation of some aspects of the programme, particularly the export villages.