Barcelona, September 27, 2016.- A delegation of 15 Catalan companies will participate until Friday in a trade mission to South Africa with the aim of exploring new business opportunities to initiate or strengthen their presence in the country. The trip is being organized by Catalonia Trade & Investment jointly with the Chamber of Commerce of Girona. Every company has an individual agenda and a portfolio of personalised contacts to expand their customer network and find investors and local partners.
The institutional agenda of the mission, headed by the Director General of Industry, Nuria Betriu, includes meetings in Pretoria and Johannesburg with representatives of government and business organizations designed to establish new partnerships and promote trade relations between the two countries. Thus, for example, they will sit down with the South African Trade and Industries Department to learn about the two industrial plans promoted by the government to transform the country economically until 2019. They will also hold a meeting with the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), the organization that promotes entrepreneurial activity in the country using various financial instruments.
Also, Betriu will meet with the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) to get first-hand experience on the country’s innovation ecosystem and to explore possible synergies in the field of technology transfer and the Green Economy Investment Promotion, in order to share experiences and seek joint lines of work in the field of green economy. The delegation will hold a meeting with the Catalan business community in South Africa and will visit the facilities of the Catalan multinational Fluidra, that acquired Waterlinx last year, positioning itself as one of the leading companies in the development of applications for sustainable water use on the continent. This summer, the company has moved three factories and a warehouse to a new 15,000 m2 facility in Johannesburg. Fluidra expects a 10% growth in South Africa’s catchment area in 2016.
Taking advantage of its stay in the country, the Catalan delegation will also visit the facilities of the company Taurus – through its subsidiary Mellerware, the second largest company in the sector of small electrical appliances in the South African market and that has registered its highest rate growth in the past eight years. Recently, the Mellerware subsidiary began to distribute the Taurus brand products in the country.
This mission to South Africa is one of the most noteworthy trips to the continent since Catalonia Trade & Investment launched a strategic program in 2014 specifically for Africa with the aim of promoting the introduction and expansion of Catalan businesses in the region. The strategy is coordinated through the overseas offices of Catalonia Trade & Investment in Accra (Ghana) and Johannesburg (South Africa), which also cover the markets of Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Benin Togo, Burkina Faso, Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon, Senegal, Gambia, Mozambique, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Angola and the Indian Ocean Islands. Until today have advised more than 600 Catalan companies interested in this region.
In fact, South Africa has become the most advanced economy in the region thanks to the importance of its industry. Regarding exports, sales from Catalonia into South Africa represented 25.5% of Spain’s exports in the country. They are mainly vehicles (16.4%), equipment and electrical material (10.9%) and machinery (8.3%). There are currently 665 Catalan companies that regularly export to the region.