(Source: DTI): South Africa needed to address the challenge of its current account deficit by increasing the volumes of export of its value added products, trade minister Rob Davies said this week.
Davies, who was speaking yesterday at the launch of the National Exporter Development Programme in the capital Pretoria, said South Africa was importing more that it was exporting, and therefore needed to work hard to reverse that trend.
“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 South African goods,” he said.
The National Exporter Development Programme, a brainchild of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), was designed to assist and prepare exporters to become more active on the international stage.
“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,” Davies said.
“But there is an evolutionary process that is going to begin with one being a domestic export enterprise to being an explorer, to export aware, export ready and eventually being a global exporter.”
The minister also said the success of the implementation of the programme will rely mainly on partnerships.
The programme includes the following, among others:
- 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
The department said provincial ministers 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.
South Africa is Africa’s biggest economy, but the country has in the past few years been battling with a huge current account deficit which has threatened to sink its economy, and reduce its competitiveness.
*Photo by Commons Wikimedia. SA trade and industry minister Rob Davies.