South Africa’s minister of Small Business Development Lindiwe Zulu on Wednesday urged Chinese authorities and businesses to help open up their markets to South Africa’s small and medium businesses.
Zulu is leading a South African delegation at this year’s China International Small and Medium Enterprises Fair (CISMEF), taking place in the city of Guanzhou until October 13.
“Many SMMEs and Cooperatives have pointed out to us that their growth and sustainability is hampered by lack of access to markets. CISMEF must be a platform that opens the doors for many SMMEs to enter global markets”, said Zulu.
The minister used the opportunity to seek market opportunities for South African businesses, some of which had representatives at the fair.
“The over thirty businesses that we have brought here and many others back home are looking for an opportunity to grow their businesses. Our participation at this year’s CISMEF is our practical effort to promote market access”, she said.
She also noted the increasing cooperation between countries globally, though she lamented the continued high unemployment figures.
“The truth is that the walls separating nations are falling and the globe is getting smaller. However, the queues of the unemployed remain unacceptably long, especially in the developing world. CISMEF highlights the importance of global entrepreneurship that cuts across borders”.
Trade between South Africa and China has bloomed over the years. The two countries trade volume hit more than US$22 billion in 2016.
South Africa this year became the first African country to export beef to China, when Karan Beef became a supplier of frozen beef to the Asian country.