Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) again voiced its commitment to using the ports of the Eastern Cape to drive economic growth and long-term sustainability during the port landlord’s participation at the inaugural Eastern Cape Export Symposium in East London on 27-28 March.
An initiative of the Eastern Cape Development Corporation (ECDC) in partnership with the Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality and Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, the symposium brought together industry experts, established exporters and export-ready small businesses with the aim of facilitating high value export deals and forming new trade collaborations between existing and export-ready businesses.
East London port Manager, Sharon Sijako, said TNPA saw the ports as natural partners to help create awareness of different import and export opportunities. “If we can achieve a more export driven economy the benefits to South Africa would be tremendous. By lending our support to platforms like this we want to make it easier for small businesses to leverage off foreign markets and grow the Eastern Cape’s export businesses and industries,” she said.
TNPA also hosted a networking function at Latimers Landing in the Port of East London to give delegates a feel of the port’s offering.
In addition to participating in the symposium’s exhibition, representatives of TNPA were among the expert speakers at the event. Nozipho Booi, New Business Manager at the Port of Ngqura, and Dirk Botes, Customer Relationship Manager at the Port of East London, spoke on the Eastern Cape Export Capacity panel.
The discussion looked at the Eastern Cape’s strategically and economically advanced offering including a geographical location that presents a huge opportunity for investment, and economy enhancing infrastructure including three ports, two airports and road and rail infrastructure. Around 80% of the province’s exports are seaborne, 12% airborne and 8% traded by land border and inland port.
Sijako congratulated the ECDC, BCMM and NMBM on a successful event which she said would help expansion of export businesses into international markets.