Explore Export – South Africa
Business Weekly talks to Raksha Maharaj about opportunities for East of England companies wishing to do business in South Africa.
1) What would be your advice to UK businesses looking to do business in your market for the first time?
It is vital to have a good understanding of the market dynamics and market structure in South Africa prior to market entry. For example, the Government has instituted a policy of local content requirement (broad-based Black Economic Empowerment) that necessitates identifying appropriate local partners to fully access market opportunities.
2) Why is now a good time for UK firms to be looking to do business in your market?
South Africa is an ideal export market for UK companies, with similar financial and legal systems, a familiar business culture, a stable political environment, and a time difference of no more than 2 hours. The UK is in South Africa’s ‘Premier League’ of trading partners, with a bilateral relationship worth over £9.6 billion per annum. In addition to numerous key growth areas within the country, South Africa is also the hub for the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and can be used as a springboard to a region with access to 250 million potential customers.
3) What are the key opportunities for UK companies looking to approach your markets?
Infrastructure plays a central role in the South African Government’s development agenda with a four year capital expenditure programme of approximately £90 billion, as well as many longer-term projects in the pipeline. UKTI is tracking these high value and infrastructure opportunities which include projects in the energy, water and sanitation, rail and ports, urban regeneration, low cost housing, hospitals and education sectors.
4) For companies coming to explore your market what sort of support can you offer to help them develop their exports in your market?
UKTI South Africa is well placed to provide support, guidance, bespoke research and access to key networks to help UK companies enter the market. In addition, we are able to provide information and advice on navigating public procurement policies, as well as identify suitable local partners. UKTI also works closely with South African trade and investment promotion organisations as well as industry associations in assisting companies.