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Executive-led Trade Mission to South Africa

The United States Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration, U.S. Commercial Service is organizing a Trade Mission to South Africa September 19-23, 2011, to help U.S. firms find business partners and sell equipment and services in Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa.


Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa


September 19-23, 2011


The South Africa Trade Mission will provide U.S. participants with first-hand market information, one-on-one meetings with business contacts, including potential agents, distributors and partners so they can position themselves to enter or expand their presence in the South African market. South Africa, with its well developed business and financial sector, its indigenous multinational enterprises, substantial foreign investment, and well developed infrastructure, is often seen as the point of access to develop markets throughout Sub-Saharan Africa. Subject to prior consultation and confirmations, mission participants will have the opportunity to explore contacts with local firms active in the region and will have the option of extending their stay for additional business development activities in South Africa or meetings in neighboring countries.


Targeted sectors are:

  • Sustainable and Efficient Energy Technologies, Equipment and Products
  • Productivity Enhancing Agricultural Technologies and Equipment
  • Skills Development

Although focused on the sectors above, the mission also will consider participation from companies in other appropriate sectors as space permits.

Map of South Africa
Map of South Africa


South Africa represents the largest economy and most sophisticated and diversified industrial and services sectors in Sub-Saharan Africa. Recent reports show the economy recovering well from the recent global recession. Sectors such as energy, health care, agriculture, vehicles, processed foods, and others are poised for solid growth in South Africa. The country also stands to benefit from rapid growth anticipated in many of its Sub-Saharan African trading partners, where South African-based companies have strong market prospects. 2010 trade figures for January to September show growth in trade of over 40 percent above corresponding 2009 levels and indicate a strong recovery in US exports to the country.

Best Prospects in Mission Targeted Sectors


The country’s power supply crisis has accelerated the need to diversify energy mix and its move towards alternative energy sources, including various forms of renewable energy. The South African Department of Energy (DoE) recently released the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP 2010) for public comment. The IRP calls for diversifying sources of power and will call for renewable energy sources to supply 16 percent and nuclear sources to supply 14 percent of power by 2030. Specific opportunities include renewable-energy generation, cogeneration, own generation, municipal generation and other independent power producer programs. Also, the effect of steadily rising energy costs for industry and consumers will be to create market opportunities for a wide range of energy saving technologies ranging from energy efficient building products, lighting, heating and air conditioning, metering, and similar products and technologies.

Agricultural equipment:

South Africa has by far the most modern, productive and diverse agricultural economy in Sub-Saharan Africa. It is a net exporter of agricultural and food products and is self sufficient in food products. South Africa offers US exporters of agricultural equipment and technology a wide range of opportunities. The country’s annual agricultural equipment market is estimated at approximately US$919 million.

Agriculture is a leading component of the South African economy, employing a million people, and agro-industrial activity amounts to about fifteen percent of GDP, with substantial growth potential. Although eighty percent of South Africa’s land is used for agriculture only 15 percent of that is arable, with the rest used for pastoral and other purposes. With the implementation of AgriBEE creating new land owners from previously disadvantaged communities, mission participants will have an opportunity to explore new emerging market segments for equipment and technology.

Educational materials and services:

One of the country’s greatest challenges are the effects of a large unskilled labor force. For that reason, improving education and skills development are priorities for the government. There is potential for U.S. companies offering training programs that will address the serious shortage of skilled labor force in sectors such as hospitality, utilities, construction, and transportation.  On the business skills area, there is a need for programs that offer job skills assessment systems which help employers select, hire, train and develop prospective employees. Other opportunities include “learning centers” franchises, focusing on after-school care and tuition, both for primary and secondary students/learners, in the areas of arithmetic, math and science respectively. Franchising opportunities also exist for adult learning centers, given the large number of people with gaps in their formal education, in the area of languages, computer training, and general business skills.

Apply by

July 18, 2011, 11:59 PM. Applications received after 11:59 PM on July 18, 2011, will be considered only if space and scheduling constraints permit.

Contact Us

Teresa Yung
International Trade Specialist
Global Trade Programs
U.S. Commercial Service
Washington, DC 20230
Tel: 202-482-5496
Fax: 202-482-9000

Larry Farris

Senior Commercial Officer
U.S. Consulate
Johannesburg, South Africa
Tel: +27-11 290-3316
Fax: +27-11 884-0538

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  Notice to Visitors!

  The link you have chosen will take you to a non-U.S. Government website.

  If the page does not appear in 5 seconds, please click this: outside web site is managed by the International Trade Administration and external links are covered by its website disclaimer statement.