Exporters Development Programme

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The Exporters Development Programme is aimed at assisting local companies to start exporting. The programme seeks to provide assistance to the different levels of companies and ensure that the exports contribute to the company’s growth.  The programme aims to address the key constraints that companies face before entering the export market. In the recently commissioned EC Export Strategy, constraints faced by exporters in the province include:

  • foreign market too competitive/unprofitable;
  • making contact with potential buyers;
  • cost of marketing the product;
  • transport/logistics costs;
  • export documentation;
  • changing product for export market, etc.


The Exporters Development Programme is designed to assist companies with such challenges. The programme targets those firms that are on the cusp of exporting, but require some additional incentive or support to enter and explore new markets. 

Programme Framework:

When it comes to exporting manufacturing products from the province by districts and metropolitan areas, the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro is a major exporter of manufacturing products from the province. In 2016, the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro accounted for 77.5% (or about R41.6 billion) of provincial manufacturing exports, followed by Sarah Baartman District at 3.1% (or about R1.6 billion) and the Buffalo City Metro at 2.7% (or about R1.4 billion). The Nelson Mandela Bay Metro is the most competitive metropole in the Eastern Cape when it comes to manufacturing exports, with transport equipment - motor vehicle parts and accessories - contributing 99.3% to the province, followed by metal, metal products, machinery and equipment (97.4%), furniture and other manufacturing (95.3%), other non-metal mineral products (93.1%), petroleum products, chemicals, rubber and plastic (86.3%), textile, clothing and leather goods (78.3%), Radio, television, instruments, watches and clocks (74.9%), and wood, paper, publishing and printing (53.5%).

It is against these statistics that the ECDC has decided to partner with the Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber on delivering the pilot phase of the Exporters Development Programme. The companies that will form part of the programme will come from different regions in the province. However, due to the strength of the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro on exports, the Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber will assist with programme implementation. An allocation of R500 000 has been made towards the programme. The emphasis of this Programme will then be to provide extensive, targeted and high-quality support to these identified companies, rather than to dilute the assistance provided by the ECDC across a larger number of more varied participants.

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