Export Summit 27 – 28 March 2019 Resolutions

This inaugural Export Symposium held on the 27 – 29 March 2019 has been a rigorous and fruitful interaction amongst stakeholders committed in driving an inclusive economic growth in the Eastern Cape.

The theme: Demystifying Export in the Eastern Cape was more apt and relevant for the summit as it clearly dealt with all challenges and misconceptions that exist in the Export market.

The question that the Summit had to grapple with: Are we ready to compete globally?

  • The summit confirmed that the Eastern Cape Region is effectively competing globally in the export market and its products are consumed internationally.
  • The summit delegates agreed that the Economic Infrastructure of the province, the three ports, airports, rail and road facilities have enabled the business community to compete effectively in the global market.
  • The summit reiterated the fact that government must continue to enhance and upgrade the economic infrastructure so that it can be able to respond to the challenges of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0).

 Target setting

  • The summit agreed to work together to “capture 1% of world export market by 2030.
  • The summit confirmed the need to grow the exports by 6% per annum
  • Grow manufactured products through:
  • Product diversification
  • Market diversification
  • Supply diversification

The summit delegates and speakers emphasized on the support urgently needed in the following areas:

Funding / Export Credit Insurance

  • Export Credits and Finance
  • Facilitate the availability of funding for export trade
  • Capital relief to reduce cost of funding
  • Help in facilitating deal origination
  • Provide support for small transactions
  • Provide diversified sources of funding
  • Ensure that risk financing is embedded in the funding for export trade

Building the culture of export in the Province through:

  • Business support programmes
  • Research and development support
  • Incentive schemes (EMIA)
  • Diversify Export Markets and create more opportunities
  • Explore the opportunities provided by the untapped market opportunities in the rest of Africa
  • Conversion of trade missions into trade and export orders
  • Rollout of the Export helpdesks programme throughout the province
  • Rollout of the Export Training and Mentoring programmes
  • Enhancing and shaping the Economic Infrastructure (Ports, Rail and Road)

Trading with Regional Blocks

  • Understand the markets in the regional blocks is critical.

The Summit confirmed that the Export development programmes of the region must at all material times be informed by the needs of business, customers and the market as well as the policy imperatives of government.

The symposium therefore directly or indirectly pleads the Eastern Cape Development Corporation and its partners to ensure that in their planning and delivery, adopt the quadruple helix model which is useful in breaking down traditional silos between government, industry, academia and civil society.

In conclusion, as we depart to our respective places of work, let us hold firm to the idea that ‘we can only succeed in driving the economy of the Eastern Cape if we work with each other and not against each other.

Thank you.


  1. The 2nd Edition of the Export Symposium will be held in March 2020 in Port Elizabeth. This will now become a signature event of the province going forward
  2. The ECDC, working with the two Metros, will intensify the participation of EC SMMEs into Local and International Trade Missions. Therefore, you must look out for the advert in the next 2 weeks for the Trade Missions and make sure you apply
  3. The Exporter Development Programme that the ECDC has contracted the Nelson Mandela will be extended for FY 2019/20 and also be extended through creation of a partnership with another Chamber Organisation
  4. The ECDC will continue hosting Export Awareness and Training Programmes, in partnership with the dti
  5. The 2 Export Helpdesks that the ECDC is in partnership with the 2 Metros will be strengthened to provide access to export information. SMMEs need to make use of these services.
  6. The ECDC will engage the 4 Universities to Institutionalize accredited training programmes on Export and Import. We need to produce a population that is knowledgeable on the in and out of exporting and importing.