“One of the most significant trends in business today is a growing interest in Africa,” says John Thomson, Managing Director of Exhibition Management Services, organisers of the Southern African International Trade Exhibition (SAITEX). “Africa’s increasing middle class population is becoming the world’s most exciting emerging market, not only for retail products, but also for manufacturing and service industries. SAITEX is a platform for the world to interface with Africa and a showcase for everything Africa has to offer.”
In recent years, Africa’s gross domestic product (GDP) has increased more rapidly than the European Union’s, growing by a staggering 67% between 2000 and 2008. Africa’s economy will grow at about 5.5% this year alone.
“Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe made a profound statement at the Ernst & Young Strategic Growth Forum last year,” adds Thomson. “He said, ‘Africa is replete with possibilities’ and he’s right. The world is flocking to every corner of this continent in search of new markets, new suppliers and new opportunities. SAITEX already has over 800 exhibitors from 32 countries signed up for this year’s show; we’re expecting 15 000 visitors from 54 countries. Anyone who is serious about business cannot afford to miss this event.”
SAITEX is an ideal platform for all business operators from the largest corporations to the smallest SMMEs to network and increase international market share; it also acts as a forum for government and investment agencies to showcase their projects.
A vast range of products will be on show, encompassing the full spectrum of retail goods, from fast moving consumer goods and retail-ready products, food and beverages, textiles, sports equipment, footwear and leather products, to home ware and decor, kitchenware and appliances, white goods and cookware, indoor, outdoor and office furniture, cellular communications, electronic equipment and home entertainment, as well as tools, hardware and building supplies.
This year’s SAITEX is introducing more business-focused components into the mix – the “Future of Trade Africa 2012” briefing and the “DHL BRICS Africa Export Import Forum” being just two of them.
“The Future of Trade Africa briefing provides delegates with all the strategies and solutions needed to navigate the politics, economics, demographics, languages, regulations and red tape in Africa,” continues Thomson.
The new DHL BRICS Africa Export Import Forum showcases some of the services and support available for South African business exploring trade in Africa and BRIC countries, such as transport supply chains; trade agencies, export/import consultants, banks, credit guarantors, insurers, trainers and media.
“More than 80% of SAITEX exhibitors are foreign companies,” continues Thomson. “They recognise the benefits of exhibiting, and value the opportunities to network with, and sell to, African buyers. South African business owners don’t need to travel to 54 countries around the world; those 54 countries are coming here,” concludes Thomson.
SAITEX takes place at Gallagher Convention Centre from Sunday 15 to Tuesday 17July. The expo is co-located with Africa’s Big Seven, the continent’s biggest food and beverage trade exhibition. Entry is free and visitors can pre-register at www.exhibitionsafrica.com, as well as enrol in the free business matchmaking service.
To see more about SAITEX, view the 2011 event video on YouTube – simply go to www.youtube.com and in the top search window type ‘Saitex 2011’.
SAITEX is endorsed by the Consumer Goods Council of SA.