Changing global demographics and a changing world economy, coupled to technological change, improvements in international transportation technology and global manufacturing and production output are all contributing factors to increased trade and export promotion is of critical importance for stimulating economic growth, advancing job creation and addressing socio-economic backlogs.

Eastern Cape-based companies are focusing on their competitive and comparative trade advantage and harnessing these to access international markets:

  • OPM Tooling ( based in Port Elizabeth who manufacture a variety of high precision tooled and pressed products for international markets in Brazil and Europe and local African markets;
  • Jendamark Automation ( which is involved in automotive robotics, smart image sensors and industrial automation and who export to markets in China, Germany, Taiwan, Thailand and the UK; and
  • Dynamic Commodities ( which specialises in fruit sorbet and ice cream for export to markets including the USA, Canada, Korea, Japan, the UK and Europe.


Export Promotion services

  • Assistance to companies to assess and evaluate their ability to service international markets (export readiness assessment analysis)
  • Help for Eastern Cape-based companies to access national export incentive programmes offered by the dti - Export Marketing and Investment Assistance (EMIA) and Sector Specific Assistance Scheme (SSAS).
  • Opportunities to be part of national and provincial international trade missions
  • Advice and assistance on marketing products to prospective regional and international buyers
  • Regional networking opportunities in SADC countries
  • Identify business opportunities from the dti trade leads and general leads
  • Facilitate export readiness workshops/seminars
  • Advise companies on export registration process
  • Provide market intelligence on regions where studies have been conducted on specific sectors
  • International networking opportunities in overseas markets, particularly Europe, the USA, Asia and the Middle East
  • Linkages to prospective international business partners and investors.


Strategic goals for Export Promotion

  • Increase the value of trade
  • Increase the number of exporters
  • Focus on and explore new markets
  • Maximise the opportunities offered by various trade policies
  • Broaden trade within targeted markets: Asia & Middle East, Europe, Americas and Africa.


Export opportunities and the Provincial Industrial Development Strategy

The Eastern Cape Provincial Government has realised the importance of a medium to long-term industrial strategy to assist investors and business persons interested in harnessing the production, manufacturing and export potential of the province.

Focus areas for the strategy include:

  • Agro-industries
  • Capital goods
  • Auto-sector production and manufacturing
  • Green industries including renewable energy, carbon extraction and carbon trading facilities
  • Petro-chemicals.


Working with provincial and national partners including the Department of Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism (, the Department of Trade and Industry (, the Coega ( and East London IDZs ( and the local and regional business chambers, ECDC is well-positioned to provide advice and assistance to investors and exporters.


Providing export platforms - trade missions, local and international exhibitions

ECDC, in conjunction with provincial and national partners, is directly involved in providing opportunities to export-ready Eastern Cape business to be part of international trade missions and local and international trade exhibitions.

Once a company has been assessed and is regarded as being "export-ready", the unit will assist in linking these companies to local and international markets through these missions and exhibitions.


Export Network Forum

ECDC facilitates and coordinates three export network forums per year.

These forums bring together Eastern Cape business that are involved in, or would like to be involved in, regional and international trade. 

This forum allows local business to share ideas, look at aspects of best-practice in export and trade and form partnerships to enhance their capacity to access global markets and boost their trade footprint.



East London - Zodwa Kepeyi

Telephone +27 (0)43 704 5713



Port Elizabeth - Cumile Ntuthu

Telephone +27 (0)41 373 8260





Investment into province continues

In the past five years the Eastern Cape has experienced sizeable local and international investment. 

It is testament that the Eastern Cape in South Africa is continues to be investment destination of choice for small, medium and large enterprise - locally and internationally.

ECDC has, directly or indirectly, been involved in assisting investors and business people to harness the potential in the Eastern Cape and grow successful commerce and industry in our region.


At your service

ECDC’s investment promotion programme offers a quality service which focuses on:

  • identifying and packaging investment and business opportunities in the Eastern Cape
  • identifying opportunities for joint ventures with local partners
  • providing access to local business service networks
  • assisting investors to access provincial and national investment incentive schemes
  • advice on, and assistance with, location decisions
  • providing a professional and relevant after-care service to all investors.


By doing this, ECDC helps investors leverage excellent returns on their investment.


Focusing on provincial growth sectors


ECDC focuses on eight specific integrated growth sectors which are all aligned to the provincial government's industrial development strategy and provincial growth and development strategy.

These are:

  • Agriculture - including investment in farming, agro-processing, forestry and bi-product beneficiation
  • Automotive component manufacture in support of the provincial automotive industry
  • Renewable energy - generation and renewable energy product manufacture
  • General manufacturing - including metals and engineering, plastics, chemicals and electronic manufacture
    • Tourism - including greenfield and brownfield investments in tourism operations
    • Aquaculture and fisheries - including fish farming, caged fish farming and freshwater fish growth
    • Business Process Outsourcing and Offshoring (BPO&O) - including ICT, electronic software and associated sectors
    • Film - including the development and growth of the film and media industry in the province.


Competitive and comparative advantages

The competitive and comparative advantage of investing in the Eastern Cape lies in:

  • Eastern Cape university graduates are in demand around the country and this is indicative of the quality education they receive in areas including management and commerce, engineering, law, science, accounting and finances, information technology, the arts, medicine and applied research
  • Through an integrated database system developed and maintained by the provinces two industrial development zones (Coega and the East London IDZs), potential investors have ready access to skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled labour resources.
    • At present these databases are primarily focused on the call-centre and construction industry but plans are in place to expand the data to include provincial growth sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing and tourism (amongst others).


  • Two purpose-build industrial development zones (IDZs)

The East London ( and Coega ( industrial development zones are strategically situated on major transport and shipping routes, and provide purpose-built infrastructure for investors wishing to produce and manufacture for the South African Development Community (SADC) and world markets.


  • Government commitment

The Eastern Cape Provincial Government, through its Provincial Industrial Development Strategy (PIDS)  and its Provincial Development Plan (PDP), are committed to economic diversification and have provided significant inputs and opportunities for local, national and international business to invest in the different sectors of the provincial economy


  • Set-up costs

Set-up costs for new business in the Eastern Cape are extremely competitive in terms of production resources, land and rental prices, construction costs and overall input factor costs.


  • Access to markets

Given the fact that the Eastern Cape has three ports (Port Elizabeth, East London & Nqgura and three airports (Port Elizabeth , East London & Mthatha), easy access to domestic, SADC and global markets is guaranteed.


  • Quality of living

The urban and rural areas of the Eastern Cape boast some of the best quality of living standards in South Africa.

    • Education, recreation, healthcare facilities and overall cost-of-living are affordable and of a high quality - they compare favourably with the best in the world. 


Investment incentives 

Local, district, provincial and national government have a range of investment and business incentives available for start-up, expansion and new operations. 

These incentives range from manufacturing rebates to preferential production factor costs depending on the size and type of investment or proposed business operation 

Full details of applicable incentives can be discussed with the investment promotion sector specialist responsible for sector investment at ECDC.



Sindiswa Mkokeli

Telephone+27 (0) 43 704 5606