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In just four months after launch, the Cape Trade Portal – a matchmaking tool and virtual connection point for international buyers and Western Cape sellers of products and services already boasts over 500 registered exporters, showcasing over 1 600 products.
The Cape Trade Portal was launched earlier this year by Wesgro in partnership with the Western Cape government and the City of Cape Town. It assists local exporters in expanding their global footprint, and also sets out to strengthen the Cape brand identity across global markets with an initial priority focus on the province’s top export markets internationally.
Leveraging on the Cape’s reputation as an exporting powerhouse of premium, competitive, diverse and quality products and services, 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.
Digital brand campaign
Wesgro has also developed a “Made in the Cape” brand story, supported by a robust digital marketing roll-out, to deepen and boost the brand story of the city as a region of origin of quality goods and services.
The campaign aims to strengthen the identity of Western Cape exports by connecting the Cape to quality through highlighting hard-hitting proof points across five products including but not limited to: rooibos, citrus, wine, software development, and design.
Supported by the digital brand marketing campaign, the Cape exports value proposition has reached over 7.9 million people in the United Kingdom alone between 07 March and 19 April 2022, and boasts over 81 000 hits to site. Other countries showing interest in the portal include the US, India and the Netherlands.
Western Cape minister of finance and economic opportunities, David Maynier said: “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 to 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.”
Connecting exporters to global buyers
The City of Cape Town’s mayoral committee member for economic growth, Alderman James Vos, said: “Our recovery from the pandemic must lead to a stronger, and more inclusive and sustainable economy. This means that 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 chief executive Wrenelle Stander said, “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. Wesgro continues to champion efforts to ensure that the province remains a sought-after source market globally.”