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what we offer

Globalisation is leading to an increased decline in trade and investment barriers across the world. 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.

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.

The Trade Promotion Unit, in conjunction with provincial and national partners, is directly involved in providing opportunities to export-ready Eastern Cape businesses to penetrate local and foreign markets in the most effective manner by means of non-financial support.

Eastern Cape-based companies are focusing on their competitive and comparative trade advantage and harnessing these to access international markets. Major export markets for the Eastern Cape is Germany followed by Hong Kong, United States, China, Netherlands, Namibia and India.

The ECDC Trade Promotion Unit provides small and medium-sized export ready companies, based in the Eastern Cape, with opportunities to access regional and global trade markets. Once a company has been assessed and is regarded as being “export- ready”, the unit facilitates annual trade missions, exhibitions and thematic workshops to offer networking platforms, increase trade/export knowledge and gain access to prospective clients in foreign targeted countries.

Various businesses throughout the province assisted with access to global markets, have now built profitable and sustainable relationships with their foreign trade partners. The unit facilitates annual trade missions and exhibitions to network with prospective clients to foreign countries.

Quality services

The Trade Promotion unit with its wide-ranging access to foreign trade destinations through preferential trade agreements at a regional and bilateral level, offers:

  • 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) & 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

  • International networking opportunities in overseas markets

  • Linkages to prospective international business partners and investors.

Demystifying the export experience

The Trade Promotion unit addresses one of the deterrents to becoming an exporter - the unknown complexity that the idea of exporting seems to hold.

The knowledgeable Trade Promotion team will help simplify the process by helping potential exporters to complete the export readiness assessment form, which assesses a business’s export readiness using the following indicators:

  • Size of the company

  • Number of years in business

  • Production capabilities

  • Adaptability to new environments

  • Financial security

  • Marketing exposure.

Export opportunities

  • Export Network Forum    

  • The ECDC Trade Promotion unit facilitates and co-ordinates export network forums.

These forums bring together Eastern Southern African Development Community (SADC), East and Cape business that are involved in, or would like to be West Africa, and the other on selected Asian markets namely, 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.

International missions and exhibitions

In partnership with the Department of Trade Industry (the dti), trade and investment promotion agencies, chambers of commerce and other industry players, ECDC facilitates trade missions and exhibitions. These provide local companies an opportunity to showcase their products on international platforms through participation on exhibitions, national pavilions and trade missions. ECDC also coordinates inward missions.

Export-orientated workshops

ECDC conducts workshops across the province in collaboration with SEDA and the dti introducing SMMEs to exports and providing them with information on export incentives and other non-financial support available. ECDC also conducts export training in partnership with the DTISEDA and LEDs.

Exploring new markets

ECDC conducts studies on new market opportunities in the South African Development Community (SADC), East and West Africa, and the other on selected Asian markets, namely India, China, South Korea and Japan.

Incentivising potential exporters

The Department of Trade, Industry and Competition has incentive schemes such as the Export Marketing and Investment Assistance (EMIA) scheme which assists domestic exporters, particularly SMMEs, to access foreign markets.

Collaborative approach

The Trade Promotion unit collaborates with other units at ECDC, such as the Investment Promotions unit, which provides contract finance and the Business Support unit which assists with business trainings.


Working with provincial and national partners; this includes

For more information:

Trade Promotion Unit

Telephone +27 (0)43 704 5600


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