Trade and Investment South Africa (TISA) is reviewing the guidelines for the Export Marketing and Investment Assistance (EMIA) scheme.
The scheme aims to develop export markets for South African products and services, and encourage new foreign direct investment into the country. Promoting trade and inward investment is critical in building the South African economy.
A division of the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti), TISA is consulting relevant stakeholders, including export councils and industries involved in the exporting of goods.
The aim of the review is to make the EMIA scheme more accessible to customers, address the changing needs of exporters and amend any outdated rules. The review also aims to reduce the administrative burden on the EMIA unit.
Overview of the EMIA scheme www.thedti.gov.za/trade_investment/emia.jsp
The EMIA scheme provides South African exporters with marketing assistance to develop new export markets and grow existing markets, and helps to identify new markets through research.
South African companies, through support from the EMIA scheme, get the opportunity to network with the key policymakers, government officials and potential partners at international expos. They are also able to generate various business opportunities in a range of economic sectors.
In addition, support for patent registrations, quality marks and product marks helps companies become more competitive.
Companies that can benefit from the EMIA scheme include South African manufacturers and exporters; South African export trading houses and commission agents representing at least three small, medium and micro enterprises or businesses owned by historically disadvantaged individuals; and South African exports councils, industry associations and joint action groups representing at least five South African entities.
What the EMIA scheme offers
Primary export market and foreign direct investment research: Exporters can receive compensation for costs incurred in developing new export markets or recruiting new foreign direct investment after visiting potential investors in foreign countries.
Inward-bound missions: Support is given to organisers of inward-buying investors or trade missions, to make contact with potential investors to conclude deals. Group missions must be organised by a qualifying organisation such as an export council or by TISA.
Outward-bound trade missions: Assistance is given to South African exporters that want to contact foreign buyers with a view to concluding new export orders.
Outward-bound investment recruitment: Support is provided to South African businesses taking part in outward investment missions, with a view to attracting foreign direct investment.
Individual participation at exhibitions: Help is given to individual exporters to exhibit products at recognised exhibitions abroad where TISA does not provide a national pavilion.
National pavilions: TISA participates in selected trade fairs and exhibitions abroad using national pavilions. Assistance is given to qualifying South African exporters to introduce their products into foreign markets by participating in suitable foreign exhibitions in a cost-effective manner.
The EMIA scheme in action
A recent example of EMIA support for companies includes helping a group of South African companies to attend the 17th Annual China Mining Congress and Expo held in September 2017. The expo is one of the world’s largest mineral investment, cooperation and trading platforms and covers the whole value chain, including mining services, surveying and exploration, rights and trade.
A 20-member South African business delegation also attended the 2017 World Food Moscow International Exhibition that same month, thanks to help from the EMIA scheme. More than 28 000 trade visitors from 89 countries and 78 Russian regions attended the exhibition.
Africa is also an important region to develop for South African exports. For example, South Africa is the largest exporter of goods and services to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Exports to the central African country in 2016 totalled R11.5 billion.
“South Africa is the DRC’s biggest exporter of foreign goods and services, providing more than 20% of the DRC’s total imports. South Africa’s investments into the DRC have been in the mining, services, the retail, finance and communications sectors,” said Minister of Trade and Industry Dr Rob Davies (MP).
In September 2017, a number of South African companies made use of the EMIA scheme to take part in the 7th Investment and Trade Initiative. Dr Davies described the mission as “an ideal platform for South African companies [that] would like to export value-added products and services with the view to building regional value chains and for companies that are looking for opportunities towards investing in manufacturing capabilities as well as skills and technology transfer with the business community in the DRC”.
Exhibitions are already lined up for 2018. the dti is looking for companies in the agro-processing sector to apply for EMIA assistance to attend the annual Gulfood Exhibition in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, in February 2018.
The Gulfood Exhibition is the largest food and beverage fair in the region and has almost 100 000 visitors every year. It brings together businesses from more than 100 countries.
In 2016, the dti supported 35 companies in taking part in the exhibition, which resulted in export sales of more than R220 million.
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