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This week, along with the Enterprise and Investment Director in my office and Wesgro, I will be leading the delegation on a trade and investment mission to Addis Ababa in Ethiopia where 15 Cape Town companies will also be joining us as we seek to strengthen economic ties between the two cities.

This mission is in line with our Organisational Development and Transformation Plan’s priorities to position Cape Town as a forward-looking, globally competitive business destination and especially pursuing our Enhanced African Agenda to strengthen ties between our city and our African counterparts.

Cape Town is known for being one the most beautiful cities in the world for tourists, but we are aggressively pushing efforts to promote economic development by facilitating trade and investment between ourselves and the rest of the world.

We are aiming to do this with a clear bias towards Africa and this visit to Addis Ababa will seek more opportunities for businesses to grow in our respective cities.With Addis Ababa also being the host city of the African Union, it is an important city for Cape Town as we see ourselves as a proud African city looking to cement our relations across the African continent both on a symbolic level but also in terms of economic trade ties being strengthened between Cape Town and Ethiopia.

Ethiopia’s economy is largely based on imports and the country has shown strong economic growth of between 8% and 11% in the past 10 years.

Our research has revealed that Ethiopia has to import many of its goods and Cape Town is keen to pursue inter-African trade. We would like to encourage Cape Town businesses to conduct trade with Ethiopia. We believe this is a wonderful match to export some of our goods to Ethiopia.

Ethiopia’s imports have increased greatly over a 10-year period from R26 billion in 2005 to R159 billion in 2014.

Between 2004 and 2014, South Africa’s exports to Ethiopia exceeded imports, with exports accounting for 82% of the trade between the two nations.

The Western Cape’s main products being exported to Ethiopia include meat, grape wine, fruit juice and instruments and appliances used in medical, surgical or dental sciences.

This mission aims to expand on these opportunities by facilitating partnerships for more Cape Town businesses to export to Ethiopia.

‘The mission is a follow-up to Wesgro’s previous successful visits taken to Ethiopia and a reciprocal mission by the Addis Ababa Chamber of Commerce to Cape Town in October 2016. These missions are in accordance with the partnership agreement between Wesgro and the Addis Ababa Chamber of Business to facilitate reciprocal trade missions. Together with the Addis Ababa Chamber of Commerce and the Ethiopian Investment Commission, we are planning to increase the number of outward and inward missions to enable a substantial increase of business with the country in the next few years,’ said Wesgro’s Chief Business Officer, Yaw Peprah.

The International Monetary Fund ranks Ethiopia as among the five fastest growing economies in the world. Ethiopia has achieved high growth rates through government-led infrastructure expansion and commercial agriculture development.

The visit will also have a tourism component where we are looking to expand the tourist arrivals from Ethiopia to Cape Town and vice-versa.

A total of 8 417 visitors came to South Africa from Ethiopia in 2016, representing a 17% year-on-year growth. Our mission will aim to exponentially increase this number by encouraging inter-Africa tourism so that our regions can realise their full potential and grow the tourism industry and jobs created in the sector in both countries.

Addis Ababa is in fact the airline hub for the African continent, with Ethiopian Airlines flying to more destinations that any other airline on the continent.

Ethiopian Airlines started a flight to Cape Town in 2015 and we will be meeting with them to encourage the airline to further expand the number of flights. The City, Western Cape Government and Wesgro’s Air Access team will offer support to facilitate the growth of direct flights to Cape Town.

The airline has already seen great growth where it started with four flights to Cape Town per week in 2015 via Gaborone and Johannesburg and in December 2016 increasing the frequency to 10 flights per week; six flights fly directly to Cape Town and four via Johannesburg.

It is also our policy to support those airlines that fly directly to Cape Town and we are flying with Ethiopian Airlines to facilitate further trade and investment between our regions.

Some of the local companies who will be joining the mission are:

  • Trade Invest Africa is a one-stop shop unit created to facilitate higher levels of trade and investment in the rest of Africa. The unit provides specialised assistance for businesses seeking to access export opportunities, or firms keen to invest in other African countries. The services include access to capital, including government incentives and export insurance finance, as well as facilitating access to markets through supporting sector-specific trade missions or tackling non-tariff barriers. Areas of business interest in Ethiopia: retailers
  • Ecogift is a garment manufacturing business with a social and environmental conscience. Ecogift mainly specialises in the manufacturing of protective clothing for the maritime industry using local resources where possible. Additionally, they provide cut, make and trim services as well as corporate merchandise. The company strives to collaborate with suppliers that produce with minimal impact to the environment. The company’s goal is to become the market leader in the manufacturing and distribution of sustainable clothing. Areas of business interest in Ethiopia: clothing manufacturing
  • Fruit & Veg City was started in 1993 where the vision was to create a store that would resemble a marketplace of old, where farmers brought their fresh produce to be sold to the public. This was how their first store in Kenilworth, Cape Town was run, and this is how every Fruit & Veg City store that has opened since is also run. Today there are more than 100 Fruit & Veg City stores throughout Southern Africa, and even as far afield as Australia. Areas of business interest in Ethiopia: retailers
  • Henties Juices is a family-owned business, established in 1998. They specialise in mixing and packaging their signature juices. They also have a range of other products which includes a traditional braai sauce, sparkling juices and concentrates. Areas of business interest in Ethiopia: distributors, importers, wholesalers, restaurants and hotel franchises
  • Liquid Bullet was established in 1988 with the aim of supplying security equipment and accessories to the local security industry. Liquid Bullet became one of South Africa’s market leaders in supplying the most extensive range of security products to the security industry. Areas of business interest in Ethiopia: government
  • Pacific West Foods RSA specialises in detailing premium natural value-added seafood products. They supply nationally to the food service division, hotel and catering industry, pub chains, cafés, franchises, airline caterers as well as airport lounges. Areas of business interest in Ethiopia: food service and wholesale industry


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