Wesgro helps Western Cape exports grow by double digits for five consecutive years

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Wesgro helps Western Cape exports grow by double digits for five consecutive years
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Wesgro helps Western Cape exports grow by double digits for five consecutive years
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23 March 2017


Today Wesgro’s CEO Tim Harris launched the agency’s latest Trade and Investment document, The Western Cape: Africa’s Trade and Investment Springboard.

As Cape Town and the Western Cape's official tourism, trade and investment agency our Research Department provides business intelligence to the agency, stakeholders and clients.

We produce over 100 research documents a year and believe that this document and its insights will be invaluable to economists, exporters, strategic business owners in the province and the press.

One of the most significant findings in the report is that the Western Cape experienced an annual average export growth of 17.8% from 2012-2016. Exports from the province totalled R121 billion in 2016, an increase of 3.8% from 2015.

This growth was largely due to the depreciating rand and an increase in competitiveness from Cape exporters. Trade in the Western Cape was driven by 25% export growth to the Americas, 15% to Oceania and 10% to Asia. The most popular export products were agricultural goods, engine parts, diodes and hot-rolled iron and steel.

The report also shows that the rest of Africa is the largest destination region for investment by Western Cape companies, accounting more than 50% of outward investment. Retailers are leading this investment drive with their African expansion strategies, many of them with the support of Wesgro's Trade team.

A new survey in the report examined the perspective and experience of companies that have recently invested in the Cape. Three quarters of companies surveyed had a positive perception of Cape Town as a base to do business in Africa and noted the city's sophisticated infrastructure as a draw card.

Of the companies that intended to expand into Africa, a quarter indicated they would opt to run their African regional headquarters in Cape Town.

Cape Town is also ranked 80th among over 3 000 global cities in terms of inward FDI projects and second in Africa. Sectors with a competitive advantage for attracting global FDI are real estate, non-automotive transport and food and tobacco.

An estimated 51% of companies investing into Cape Town cited regional expansion and market access as their primary motive, followed by 47% who primarily wanted to capture the local domestic market.

“These figures indicate serious vote of confidence to the Cape as a trade and investment destination, and are testament to the work Wesgro has done to promote our region as a business hub for Africa,” concluded Harris.

The Western Cape: Africa’s Trade and Investment Springboard contains a number of further insights and is available via the download link at the top of this page.

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The Wesgro Trade Unit provides a free and confidential service to help you establish and grow your business in Cape Town and the Western Cape. Our diverse economy, strong skills base and well-connected infrastructure present many opportunities for foreign buyers seeking high-quality goods and services, as well as exporters looking to expand into the African market.

Read our latest sector and country fact sheets and research reports to identify new opportunities to grow your business.

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