Why you should buy from Cape Town and the Western Cape

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Why you should buy from Cape Town and the Western Cape
Get In Touch
Why you should buy from Cape Town and the Western Cape
Get In Touch


Whatever you may require, Cape Town and the Western Cape have the business solution for you. Our product and service offering is very diverse, with proven excellence in areas spanning agribusiness, information and communication technology (ICT), oil and gas, tourism, manufacturing and engineering, furniture, renewable energy, and creative industries, to name a few.

Competitive pricing, geographic location, and preferential bilateral, regional and international trade agreements facilitate greater trade opportunities for foreign buyers seeking quality goods and services in diverse sectors.

Preferential trade agreements

Cape Town and the Western Cape offer advantageous access to world markets through South Africa’s preferential trade agreements and arrangements. South Africa enjoys duty-free access to the European market for almost all products under the European Union-Southern African Development Community Economic Partnership Agreement.

South Africa is a qualifying beneficiary under the United States’ African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), which allows duty-free access to the United States for a significant amount of goods. South Africa (as a member of the Southern African Customs Union) also has trade agreements with the European Free Trade Association and MERCOSUR.

Regionally, South Africa is a party to the Southern African Customs Union and the Southern African Development Community (SADC). Additionally, negotiations are ongoing for the Tripartite Free Trade Area between the SADC, the East African Community, and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa.

The potential showstopper, however, is the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).The AfCFTA aims to establish a free trade area spanning the 55 member states of the African Union. The agreement has been signed by 54 countries and has entered into force; however, trading under the AfCFTA has yet to commence.

The AfCFTA includes undertakings by member states to progressively eliminate tariffs and non-tariff barriers to trade in goods and liberalise trade in services; to cooperate on investment, intellectual property rights, competition policy and customs matters; and to establish a dispute settlement system.

Sophisticated transport infrastructure

Cape Town and the Western Cape are home to three export-oriented ports, sophisticated road and rail infrastructure linking Cape Town to other major South African and African centres, and the third busiest airport in Africa.

Cape Town connects to global markets by air. Cape Town International Airport is a world-class airport, and is the second largest in South Africa. In 2018, the airport was awarded the best Airport in Africa by the Skytrax Awards. It was also recognised as the best airport globally that services between 5- and 10-million passengers annually. In 2018, the airport was rated as the 21st best airport in the world by Skytrax, improving five places from 2015. It is located approximately 20km from the CBD, and is integrated with other city transport infrastructure.

Transnet, a state-owned company, operates about 30 000km of rail network in South Africa, including freight rail. There are a number of railway border crossings linking South African rail infrastructure to that of neighbouring countries. South Africa is home to the longest production train in the world – operated by Transnet Freight Rail, the train is 4km long and runs from the manganese mines of the Northern Cape to the port at Saldanha Bay in the Western Cape.

There are three major ports in the Western Cape: Cape Town, Mossel Bay and the Saldanha Bay. The latter focuses on oil and gas, with an industrial development zone. The Transnet National Ports Authority has a collaborative approach with the private sector to help establish the region as a major transport and logistics hub.

Cape Town serves a vast and growing international import and export market that traverses between Europe and the western hemisphere, as well as the Middle East and Australia. This strategic position delineates the port as an important economic location and gives it the weight of being South Africa’s second busiest container port. Cape Town port is well equipped to service fresh produce and perishable goods.

Cape Town and the Western Cape connect to the rest of Southern Africa through an extensive and well-developed road system.

Why buy from Cape Town and the Western Cape?

Our producers and manufacturers subscribe to both local and international production standards. They have earned award-winning recognition for doing so both at home and abroad.
Sophisticated logistics
Modern harbour facilities, well-connected railway networks, highly developed road infrastructure and advanced ICT networks combine to create a compelling package for international buyers. Cape Town and the Western Cape’s infrastructure, and modern and well-established cold storage, freight and shipment facilities form a sophisticated logistics network that enables effective trade of all goods and services.
Diverse production
Cape Town and the Western Cape are a production hub for producers operating in various diverse sectors. Buying opportunities exist in high-growth sectors like agri-processing goods, aquaculture, consumer goods, manufactured products, food and beverage products, and lifestyle goods.
Consistent growth
Cape Town and the Western Cape have shown growth that exceeds the national average. In line with international trends, its economic activities are becoming more diverse, supported by a more educated population, which reinforces the province’s competitive edge.
Because of a favourable exchange rate and relatively low labour costs, high-quality products and services are accessible from Cape Town and the Western Cape. South Africa has also signed double taxation agreements with a number of countries.
Similar time zone to Europe
South Africa as a whole follows the same time zone that is two hours ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). This is also the same time zone as Central Africa. Most of the year we are in the same time zone as European countries such as Belgium and the Netherlands. During daylight savings (which we don't implement) we may either be on par with a few more countries, or vary an hour or two.

How Wesgro will help you trade

As the official tourism, trade and investment promotion agency for Cape Town and the Western Cape, we are here to assist you in doing business with the province.

Wesgro’s Trade Unit offers support to foreign buyers and local exporters wishing to establish trade ties. Our dedicated team will assist you throughout the entire supplier process and will go the extra mile by providing specialised advisory services, access to strategic networks, and marketing of value‑added goods and services.

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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.

Mar 2023
An Analysis of Wine Tourism in the Western Cape (2022)
Oct 2021
Promoting Green Trade Competitiveness
Oct 2021
Western Cape Trade Publication 2021
Jul 2021
Wesgro's Export Mission Plan for 2021 - 2022
Mar 2021
Investing in cannabis in South Africa