Photograph — The Daily Beast

Under the Export Marketing and Investment Assistance (EMIA) scheme, the South African government is currently piloting a group of 17 indigenous companies to the United States on an Outward Selling Mission (OSM).  

The mission, funded by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), is targeted at the New York City (NYC) wine and food festival which is one of the largest trade fairs in the American state.

With the aim of recruiting new foreign direct investment into South Africa, the selected companies have the opportunity to relate with thousands of local international vendees, chefs, gourmands and industry professionals before the end of the OSM later this month.

The outward selling mission was birthed by the South African government through the DTI to build mutually beneficial regional and global relations that will advance the country’s trade, industrial policy and economic development objectives.

OSM also functions as a form of commercial diplomacy that helps local companies grow their international network while generating awareness for their products in the foreign market. 

Fikile Majola, the Deputy Minister at South Africa’s trade department, said that this trade mission is to cultivate new relationships with U.S. buyers and at the same time foster the old ones. He affirmed that it will lead to the increased exportation of SA products to America in the food industry.

Majola revealed that most agro-processing products from South Africa enjoy duty-free access into the United States under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). He also said it will “create market access for South African value-added products in the North American market.”

With the ongoing trade mission, South Africa is looking to increase its exports to America, which as of 2018, were estimated at a value of $8.5 billion. Selected agro-processing products for the roadshow include dried fruits and nuts, fruit juices, fresh fruits, wines and speciality products such as confectionery and sauces, indigenous teas and many others.

The OSM itinerary includes a trade and investment seminar, business-to-business meetings and site visits in the cities of Philadelphia, New York. The trade mission will come to an end at the Fresh Food Summit in Anaheim, California.

Written by Treasure Nnabugwu.

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