The Southern African International Trade Exhibition (SAITEX,) Africa’s biggest business opportunities show, has this year surpassed all previous attendance records in terms of the number and reach of countries that participated. Held from 21 to 23 June at Gallagher Convention Centre, Midrand, SAITEX hosted buyers from a total of 72 countries, a massive 37% increase on 52, the previous record.27 of these countries were from Africa.
Among the countries which exhibited this year who were not at the 2014 show were Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Chile, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Germany, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Togo, as well as the USA.
“It’s obvious SAITEX has global appeal, but its capacity to draw visitors and exhibitors from so many countries is testament to its importance as Africa’s biggest business opportunities event,” said John Thomson of organisers Exhibition Management Services. “Further proof is the number of business transactions that resulted from the show and the feedback from participants on the huge, incomparable networking opportunity SAITEX offers.”
Jiangsu Zongshen Motor Tricycle Manufacturing Co Ltd signed a deal with Great Ocean Import and Export Company, to export their motor, electric and green energy tricyles to Africa. Marc Ho, the representative for the manufacturing company said they wanted to test the market in South Africa first and then expand into Africa in the longer-term. The parts will be imported into South Africa for assembly.
Natasha Agostini, Head of Trade at the Embassy of Brazil confirmed that at SAITEX Brazilian exhibitors found valuable business contacts in South Africa. This year, the Embassy brought agricultural products from the different regions of Brazil. They were able to make contact with distributors across the African continent, as well as in Asia and Europe.
“Brazil has participated in SAITEX for 19 years,” said Agostini. “We really value the experience we have here and we have had fantastic results, that is why we continue to bring new companies as well as companies who have already participated in the show.
“I believe that coming to SAITEX is one way of raising awareness amongst Brazilian companies to start seeing South Africa and the rest of Africa as important markets for their products,” said Agostini.
Eva Suto of first-time SAITEX exhibitor, the South African & Eastern European Commercial, Cultural, Tourism and Knowledge Centre said the organisation and the companies it hosted on its pavilion had established connections with more than 60 companies from 11 countries during the three days of the show – these included government delegations and agencies. “We had some great leads from Belarus, Ukraine, Mauritius and South Africa that are potential business contacts,” Suto said. “We have already received feedback from visitors from Swaziland, Pakistan and China. Our exhibitors are working on building a relationship with their new-found contacts and preparing for the new business.”
Mauritius significantly increased its trade potential as a result of exhibiting at SAITEX – with some of its exhibiting companies signing big deals. Enterprise Mauritius, which serves to promote Mauritius as a reliable and preferred sourcing destination for quality products and services, is involved with thedistribution of LED television sets, made in Mauritius for the Zimbabwean and Mozambican markets. Orders of more than R2.8m were signed at SAITEX this year – with negotiations for more orders in progress.
Tshepa Sejosengoe, Business Advisor of Maphuki Designs, part of the Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA) pavilion, said he had received many enquiries for their leather belts and handbags.
Patrick Nkolisa, Sales Director for Metrotile said, “We had a very good show with a lot of enquiries from South Africa, Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Zambia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Botswana. This was our first time exhibiting at the show and we will definitely come back next year.”