Trade Missions


International Relations Infocom 2018

1. Brazil

Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber hosted a "Meet and Greet" with a visiting delegation from Brazil. A group of business and tourism industry leaders were invited to interact with the delegation, led by business women, investor and Special Advisor to the Mayor of Ubatuba, Sao Paulo, Rogeria de Souza.

Every few months, the Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber welcomes delegations from all over the world. In August, the Business Chamber was fortunate enough to open its doors to a delegation from Brazil. The delegation, along with business and tourism industry leaders, were led by business women, investor and special advisor to the Mayor of Ubatuba- Sao Paulo’s Rogeria de Souza.

2. Indonesia

The Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber hosted delegates from the Indonesian Trade Promotion Centre (ITPC) and Bay businesses in a bid to highlight opportunities, explore areas of collaboration, strengthen trading partnerships and showcase the Metro as an attractive investment destination.

Business Chamber members and delegates had an opportunity to engage the Indonesian delegates led by Pontas Tobing, Director of ITPC, through an information exchange and dialogue session hosted at the Business Chamber offices.

“The outcome of the meeting was productive and fruitful. The delegation indicated that a major Indonesian company in the food industry had expressed interest in setting up a manufacturing plant in South Africa. We will rigorously pursue such leads to facilitate investments into the city. It was exciting to hear the number of jobs such operations have created in two other African countries,” said Nomkhita Mona, CEO of the Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber.

Tobing’s presentation indicated that Indonesia is the fourth most populous country in the world with a population of 250 million. It also is the 16th largest economy in the world.

South Africa’s major exports to Indonesia include chemical wood pulp (US$114m), gold (US$29m), ferrous waste and scrap (US$14m), copper (US$13m) and pears (US$11m).

“However, a big concern expressed was that sometimes it is very difficult to invest in South Africa than it is in other African countries. This is because the process of setting up an operation by a foreign company is stringent. In particular, the delegation noted that turn-around times are slow and that our country’s Visa requirements are not as conducive as in other countries,” she said.

Mona also said “Trade between Indonesia and South Africa has potential to grow. We need to engage authorities to reduce the barriers restricting FDI inflows into the country and our city.”

“Indonesia can be a significant export market for products and services from Nelson Mandela Bay, and we must explore avenues that create export market access for Business Chamber members” said Mona.

Tobing said Indonesia has a 30-day “No Visa” requirement for more than 170 countries. This also accounts for the good performance of the Indonesian tourism sector. It would be good if South Africa could consider similar policies. In addition, it only takes two hours for an investor to set up shop in Indonesia.

In 2017, South Africa and Indonesia signed the Plan of Action 2017-2021 for the implementation of the Joint Declaration on a Strategic Partnership for a Peaceful and Prosperous Future between the Government of Indonesia and the Government of South Africa.

“As a result of the visit, we will now see a grassroots business-to-business outreach, and we believe the Bay is an important and attractive investment destination. Equally, we were keen to learn what activities, investment avenues and export opportunities are possibly on the horizon for businesses in the Metro,” Mona said.

Alan Millard, Marketing Manager of SA Canvas said the meeting was very informative.

“It is very interesting to understand the Indonesian industry and their business hub and interests.

“There is an interest in our outdoor leisure market product from the Indonesian Trade Commission who will contact other businesses in the same industry and put them in contact with us,”

“I believe the meeting held at the Business Chamber today was beneficial. We often work in isolation without knowledge of international requirements and I believe these types of meetings and delegations are beneficial to growing the Port Elizabeth market and addressing the unemployment and I feel that it is certainly very valuable,” Millard said.

The Business Chamber will be getting in direct contact with the Indonesian Business Chamber to explore further business opportunities. This would ensure that the Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber member businesses are exposed and participate during the planned business delegations.

Opportunities to promote South African products overseas

Business Chamber members are not always aware of the opportunities open to them through the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the various incentives available to approved, registered, tax compliant and export ready businesses.

With this in mind, we have compiled a list of upcoming Outward Selling Missions for your convenience. 

Please note the closing dates for application to the DTI are usually three months in advance of outward missions. Apply to the DTI well before their application deadlines. 

We have also compiled a list of fun facts about each destination to whet your appetite about expanding to markets outside of your current footprint.

Outward Selling Mission to Malmö, Sweden (Natural and Organic Products): November 2018

The Department of Trade and Industry (the DTI) invites companies to apply to participate in an Outward Selling Mission (OSM) to Malmö, Sweden to promote exports of natural and organic products. The dates are 12 to 16 November 2018 (excluding travel dates).

This Outward Selling Mission forms part of the DTI’s objective to create market access for South African products in markets with high export potential. South African exporters of natural and organically certified ingredients, processed foods and drinks and cosmetic products are invited to apply. 

The South African business delegation will have the opportunity to promote their products at the Natural Products Scandinavia Show. The deadline date for the submission of complete EMIA OSM application forms is 31 July 2018.

Please contact Nnono Kekane Assistant Director: Group Missions on Tel (012) 394 5970,  E-mail: or Dumisani Nyalunga, Deputy Director: Export Promotion (Europe) on Tel (012) 394 34 91, E-mail:

Fruit Logistica Berlin 2019

This national pavilion for the fresh fruit and vegetables sector will be held from 6 to 9 February 2019 in Berlin, Germany. The closing date for application is 10 September 2018. The contact person at the DTI is Virginia Mbuyisa. For details, www. fruitlogistica.den/en   

Fun fact about Berlin: 18 people move every hour

It seems that Berliners aren’t very settled people. It could be that they are constantly on the search for the next ‘in’ Kiez (neighbourhood). Well, that is one theory. Whatever the reason, every hour 18 people move from one district of the city to another, making the Robben & Wientjes removal vans as integral to the city's fabric as the Fernsehturm.

This television tower in central Berlin, Germany was intended at the time of being built (in the late 1960’s) to be a symbol of Communist power and of Berlin. With a height of 368 metres it is the tallest structure in Germany.

International Defence Exhibition and Conference (IDEX) 2019

Set to take place from 17 to 21 February 2019, in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, the International Defence Exhibition and Conference (IDEX)) 2019 attracts the Aerospace, Rail and Marine sector, including international decision-makers from within the defence industry, alongside key representatives from governments, armed forces and key military personnel. IDEX 2019 positions companies to be among the top leaders in defence technologies and solutions.

The closing date for application is 17 September 2018.  Contact Tshepiso Malunga at the DTI. For details, www.

  • Fun fact about Abu Dhabi

“Abu Dhabi produces 2.5 million barrels of oil each day”-

Gulfood 2019

Set to take place from 16 to 22 February 2019, in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, Gulfood 2019 is for the Agro- Processing (except alcoholic beverages) sector. 

The closing date for application is 17 September 2018. Contact Virginia Mbuyisa at the DTI. For details, www.

  • Fun fact about Dubai

“Located on the southeast coast of the Persian Gulf with a population of 2,3 million residents (at the end of 2014), Dubai is the most populous city in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).”

Foodex Japan 2019

Taking place from 7 to 10 March 2019 in Chiba, Japan this trade pavilion is for the Agro-Processing sector. Described as "Asia's largest food and beverage special exhibition this year saw more than 3,000 companies from in and outside the country exhibiting. About 85 000 visitors attend the fair.

The closing date for applications is 8 October 2018. Contact Mayanda Gawula at the DTI. For details, www.

  • Fun fact about Chiba, Japan

“21% of the Japanese population is elderly, the highest proportion in the world. Japan has more than 50,000 people who are over 100 years old”. Very senior citizens!

Cosmoprof Bologne 2019

Cosmoprof takes place from 15 to 18 March 2019 in Bologna, Italy. Cosmoprof’s exhibition space is dedicated to various sectors of the beauty industry including: Perfumery and Cosmetics, Natural Products, Packaging, Machinery, Contract Manufacturing and Raw Materials, Beauty and Spa and Hair and Nails. Vast numbers of exhibitors, visitors and buyers from overseas are turning this event into a proper international hub where professionals and decision makers meet to develop their business.

The closing date for applications is 15 October 2018. Contact Tshepiso Malunga at the DTI. For details, www.

  • Fun fact about Bologna, Italy

“Another nickname of the city is "Bologna la grassa" or "Bologna the Fat" due to its renown as Italy's culinary centre, and of course the famous bolognaise”.

Midest 2019, Paris 

Midest takes place from 21 March to 24 March in Paris, France. Midest 2019 is a Multi-sectoral trade pavilion, which includes Services and Subcontracting (Metals, Plastics, Rubber, Composite Materials, Electronics, Wood and Micro Techniques).  

The closing date for applications is 19 October 2018. Contact Tshepiso Malunga at the DTI. For details, www.

  • Fun fact about Paris

“The Eiffel Tower was supposed to be a temporary installation, intended to stand for 20 years after being built for the 1889 World Fair. Paris was originally a Roman City called ‘Lutetia’.”

3. Holding the flag high in Germany

A group of 15 Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber (NMBBC) member companies are off to Germany on an Outward Selling Mission later this year.

It is the first time the Business Chamber, through its SME Task Team, and the local office of the Department of Trade and Industry (dti), have partnered on an Outward Selling Mission to Germany.

“As a developed and industrialised country, Germany has a significant footprint in South Africa and Nelson Mandela Bay in particular,” says Prince Matonsi, Operations Manager, Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber. “We believe that there are existing synergies that emerging SMEs can benefit from.

“The NMBBC President, Thomas Schaefer volunteered to lead the group. His vast knowledge, experience and various contacts in Germany will add to the enrichment of the mission.”

Traditionally, the dti takes companies to trade shows. In this instance the Business Chamber has decided that the itinerary should be tailored to suit the needs of companies selected so that maximum benefit can be derived from the visit to Germany. The commitment shown by the member companies towards achieving positive outcomes from the trip is very encouraging. 

“The aim is to create a platform for SMMEs to explore investment opportunities by way of exporting value-added products and services as well as forging business linkages,” says Matonsi.

The Business Chamber has the project lead role; recruiting, selecting eligible companies and supporting the SMMEs on their needs on the Mission.

The process kicked off with a dti workshop to interested members at the NMBBC offices in May 2018.   Andre Le Grange, Strategic Partnerships and Customer Care for Incentive Development at the local office of the dti unpacked the requirements and the process. 

The dti will fund approved companies through the Sector Specific Assistance Scheme (SSAS) Funding for Emerging Exporters. The purpose of this funding scheme is to compensate the costs in respect of the activities aimed at the development of South African emerging exporters. 

Participating enterprises must:

  • have been in operation for more than 12 months.
  • comply with statutory requirements including registration with SARS for tax clearance certificate, export registration with custom and excise and CIPRO
  • be participating in a structured export development programme
  • be a SMME owned by a person/s of South African nationality;
  • have an EMIA qualifying product or services;
  • have traded locally for at least 12 months;
  • have been involved in limited or no exports.
  • and must meet at least one of the following qualifying criteria:
  • At least 51 % of the business must be owned by black person(s), woman and/or disabled (HDIs);
  • The company or individual should have an annual turnover of less than R25 million;
  • Project should be developmental in nature
  • be in line with the National Export Strategy

“As the dti, we are looking to identify strategic partners to drive economic growth in South Africa,” says Le Grange. “In the Eastern Cape, and in Port Elizabeth specifically, we are excited to be collaborating with the Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber on this strategic endeavour.

“The region holds significant potential to drive and diversify economic growth in the Province, leading to sustainable job creation opportunities,” he adds.

“With the NMBBC driving SME growth in the region, the dti sees synergetic opportunities in terms of its mandate to support regional growth strategies; specifically, those aimed at broadening participation and exposing emerging exporters to export market opportunities.

 “The mission will create the platform for economic co-operation linkages between business in Nelson Mandela Bay and targeted enterprises in Germany. This is phase one of future collaborations between the dti and the NMBBC.”

The enthusiasm of potential delegates is tangible as seen from their motivation for their application. The dti will announce the names of the approved delegates later this year.