Interview: CIIE great platform to connect exporters with buyers, investors -- official
This aerial photo taken on Oct. 13, 2021 shows container vessel of the China COSCO Shipping docking at Yangshan Port, east China's Shanghai. (Xinhua/Fang Zhe)
The CIIE is an annual event that Wesgro has participated in since pre-COVID. "In previous years we have had positive feedback from our exporters who continue to look for Wesgro's support to attend the expo annually," Thiru Naidoo, senior trade manager for Middle East and Asia of the Western Cape Tourism, Trade, and Investment Promotion Agency, said.
CAPE TOWN, Nov. 1 (Xinhua) -- The China International Import Expo (CIIE) is a great platform to connect exporters with potential buyers and investors, said a South African trade official.
The 6th CIIE is scheduled to take place from Nov. 5 to 10 with South Africa as one of its five guest countries of honor, marking a significant return to offline participation after the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a recent interview with Xinhua, Thiru Naidoo, senior trade manager for Middle East and Asia of the Western Cape Tourism, Trade, and Investment Promotion Agency (Wesgro) in South Africa, shared her enthusiasm about the expo, highlighting the substantial benefits it offers to her country's exporters.
"I believe that the expo is a great platform to connect our exporters with potential buyers and investors from Asia," Naidoo, who will go to this year's CIIE, told Xinhua.
She noted that the CIIE is an annual event that Wesgro has participated in since pre-COVID. "In previous years we have had positive feedback from our exporters who continue to look for Wesgro's support to attend the expo annually," she said.
This year, Wesgro plans to support 10 Western Cape exporters to attend the event, primarily in the food and beverage sector, which exports items ranging from "Made in the Cape" teas to wines and seafood.
B2B matchmaking platforms such as the CIIE "will be hugely beneficial for our Western Cape exporters" trying to enter the Chinese market, Naidoo said.
Citing figures released by Wesgro, Naidoo said that China stands as the Western Cape's 6th largest export market, with 2022 exports surpassing 103 billion rand (about 550 million U.S. dollars), showing a year-on-year growth of 6.28 percent.
This photo taken on Sept. 28, 2021 shows the "Shanghai Express," a China-Europe freight train linking Shanghai with Europe, leaving east China's Shanghai for Hamburg, Germany.(Xinhua/Ding Ting)
Western Cape is South Africa's leading agricultural export province, accounting for almost half of the country's agricultural exports. Additionally, Western Cape wines rank among its top 10 exports to China, fast gaining momentum as some of the finest quality wines on the global stage.
"This provides Western Cape with an opportunity to take advantage of China's growing demand for quality products," said Naidoo.
A notable development, she said, was the recognition of Western Cape as a Foot-and-Mouth Disease-free region by China's General Administration of Customs and Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs in August.
"This is a massive opportunity for Western Cape beef farmers and trading companies to finally export beef again into China, where there is a burgeoning appetite for high-quality beef products," said the official.
She went on to say that Western Cape also sees "huge potential" for investment opportunities from China, particularly in its green energy and green manufactured products. The province has positioned itself as an attractive destination for China's outward foreign direct investment in Africa.
Naidoo said that following the successful BRICS summit hosted by South Africa, numerous Chinese delegations have visited Western Cape, to foster connections with local authorities and unlock trade and investment opportunities in the province.
"These opportunities can boost our province's manufacturing output and exports, as well as stimulate and grow new sectors that will lead to more innovation," she said.