The Western Cape Government has embarked on a mission to the United Kingdom, one of its biggest trading partners, to further boost tourism, trade and investment between the two regions.
Alan Winde, Minister of Economic Opportunities, is leading the delegation, which includes Wesgro, the province’s official tourism, trade and investment promotion agency, and Western Cape businesses, the majority of which are in the agri-processing sector.
The trade promotion kicks off today in London with a full schedule, ending on 26 May in Scotland.
Minister Winde said the delegation would discuss the impact of Brexit on trade, following a strategic plan developed by Wesgro on the risks and opportunities it might present for our producers, and seek to boost investment in Project Khulisa’s key focus areas.
Said Winde: “The United Kingdom is a major trading partner for the Western Cape. Last year, we exported goods worth more than US $ 600 million to the UK.
“We are also welcoming an increasing number of tourists from the UK. The Western Cape attracts 60% of the UK tourists visiting South Africa.
“High on our agenda is setting the scene for trade discussions which would result in the boosting of these figures. We see Brexit as an opportunity for our producers, many of whom have good relations with major UK retailers already. ”
“With the UK being a key trade and investment partner of the Western Cape, it is essential that we maintain our strong relationship so that Brexit is turned into an opportunity for the province and South Africa. Ten companies will join on the mission, with more than 100 meetings set up by Wesgro during the visit to maximise its benefit to the region. We are proud to share the success of the Cape’s economy, and assure investors that we remain a safe, and rewarding destination to do business with,” said Tim Harris, Wesgro CEO.
Key items from Minister Winde’s programme of action include:
- Discussions with Richard Branson around further boosting air access between Cape Town and the UK;
- The London Wine Fair, where Western Cape wine companies will be exhibiting. Project Khulisa has the goal of increasing wine exports to key markets;
- Showcasing the province’s Halal tourism offering to tourism agencies;
- Addressing the Agrimoney LIVE conference on opportunities for investment in the Western Cape’s agri-processing sector