African Continental Free Trade Area Workshop: Trade Opportunities and Economic Benefits for Limpopo’s Private Sector

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The Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the dtic) in partnership with the Limpopo Economic Development Agency (LEDA) will host a workshop on June 9, 2023, at Bolivia Lodge, Polokwane. This workshop aims to expose the Limpopo private sector to export opportunities under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). The event follows a successful inaugural workshop in KwaZulu-Natal last week.

Informing and Engaging Export-Ready Businesses

Running from May to July 2023, the dtic’s workshops will inform and engage Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), private sector, women, and youth-owned export-ready businesses on the status and implementation of the AfCFTA. The initiative aims to establish a single market with around 1.3 billion people and a combined Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of around USD 3.4 trillion.

Targeted Sector Master Plans

The workshops will identify companies in targeted sector master plans and other priority sectors wishing to export across the continent. The six sector master plans include steel and metal fabrication; agriculture and agro-processing; retail-clothing, textiles, footwear, and leather (R-CTFL) value chain; automotive industry; sugar value chain; and forestry.

Opportunities for South African Companies

The AfCFTA offers significant opportunities for South African companies to expand and diversify their export base and volume beyond traditional markets in Southern Africa. Tyini, the Chief Director of Africa Multilateral Economic Relations at the dtic, explained that the AfCFTA also includes mechanisms to support emerging producers, SMEs, women, and youth entrepreneurs in participating and benefiting from this vast continental free trade area.

Focus on Limpopo

In Limpopo, the workshop’s primary focus will be on agriculture and agro-processing, sugar value chain, forestry, and the retail-clothing, textiles, footwear, and leather (R-CTFL) value chain. Makhuvha, the Group Chief Executive Officer of LEDA, emphasized the importance of the workshop in Limpopo’s enterprise development. As agriculture is a crucial growth sector for Limpopo, the workshop offers the opportunity to position local enterprises for success in the market for finished agricultural products.

Fostering Growth and Shared Prosperity

By providing a platform for engagement and discussion, the AfCFTA Awareness workshops will play a vital role in educating and preparing businesses for the trade opportunities and benefits offered through the AfCFTA. This move towards a more united and economically integrated Africa aims to foster growth, development, and shared prosperity for all its nations and citizens.

A Russian-Spanish journalist and Cape Town native, channels his lifelong passion for South Africa into captivating stories for his local blog. With a diverse background and 50 years of rich experiences, Serjio's unique voice resonates with readers seeking to explore Cape Town's vibrant culture. His love for the city shines through in every piece, making Serjio the go-to source for the latest in South African adventures.

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