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Growing uptake of Cape’s online trade marketplace

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Online trade marketplace the Cape Trade Portal has attracted over 500 registered exporters showcasing over 1 600 products.

This is according to Wesgro, the official tourism, trade and investment promotion agency for Cape Town and the Western Cape.

Launched four months ago, the Cape Trade Portal was developed by Wesgro, in partnership with Western Cape government and the City of Cape Town.

The online matchmaking tool connects international buyers with Western Cape sellers of products and services, in the hopes to assist local exporters to expand their global footprint, says Wesgro.

The trade and investment agency adds the portal acts as a dedicated resource centre, providing tools, insights and expertise to support Western Cape exporters on their journey.

Among some of the other services offered by the platform are training and mentoring programmes, keeping exporters updated on upcoming trade exhibitions, offering support with non-tariff export barriers, as well as assistance with regulatory and compliance requirements.

The portal has seen over 81 000 hits to the site from top destination markets, such as the UK, notes Wesgro.

David Maynier, Western Cape minister of finance and economic opportunities, explains: “The Western Cape is a proud ‘region of origin’ of many first-class products for the export market.

“A key priority for the Western Cape government is to ramp up our support for local exporters and provide the right platforms for exporters to expand their global footprint.

“The Cape Trade Portal is one such initiative which embraces innovation to digitally connect exporters with key markets, because, at the end of the day, more exports mean more jobs in the Western Cape.”

According to Wesgro, it has also developed a ‘made in the Cape’ brand strategy, supported by digital marketing, to deepen and boost the brand story of the Cape as a region of origin of quality goods and services.

Supported by the ‘made in the Cape’ digital campaign, the Cape exports value proposition reached over 7.9 million people in the UK between 7 March and 19 April, reveals Wesgro. Other countries showing interest in the portal include the US, India and the Netherlands.

Alderman James Vos, the city’s mayoral committee member for economic opportunities and asset management, states that Cape Town’s recovery from the pandemic must lead to a stronger, and more inclusive and sustainable economy.

“This means Capetonian businesses, both existing and aspiring, must be central to our efforts. This is the very reason why the city has directed funding towards the online portal which directly connects local exporters with international buyers.

“These businesses also get ready access to the portal’s training platform. The Cape Trade Portal will prove to be a vital tool for the healthy growth of Cape Town’s economy.”

Wesgro CEO Wrenelle Stander comments: “It's encouraging to see such a positive uptake on the platform in such a short space of time. Trade promotion is key to the economic growth of the Western Cape, and the virtual Cape Trade Portal is an essential piece of a larger, on-going effort to assist businesses in the province and boost their growth potential.

“I encourage Western Cape exporters of products and services who wish to grow their exports to become familiar with the portal and gain access to key growth markets.”

Western Cape exporters can get involved with the initiative by e-mailing: export@wesgro.co.za.

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13 Aug
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