Wesgro the Official Tourism, Trade and Investment Promotion Agency

Wesgro the Official Tourism, Trade and Investment Promotion Agency for the Western Cape, Cape Town in collaboration with the Agribusiness Development Corporation (ADC) and South Africa Wine Industry Transformation Unit (Witu) are leading an agribusiness focused trade mission to Kampala, Uganda from 20 to 23 June 2022.

This mission is in line with Wesgro’ s strategy to boost agriculture and agro-processing exports and foreign direct investment, by linking and promoting awareness of Western Cape agribusiness companies in key growth markets like Uganda. Our objective for the Ugandan market is to match South African and Ugandan businesses for possible partnership and to enhance trade and investment flow between our two countries.

The mission will investigate opportunities for outward investment in Uganda and establish firm trade relations with companies and other key strategic partners in Uganda.

Uganda is an important export market and trade partner for South African exporters, mostly because Uganda is the third- largest economy in East Africa offering a lot of opportunities in the agriculture sector. Uganda has considerable natural resources, including fertile soils, regular rainfall, significant reserves of recoverable oil, and small deposits of copper, gold, cobalt, limestone, and other minerals. Agriculture is one of the most important sectors of the economy, employing 72% of the work force and accounting for 24% of the GDP. The most important sectors of the Ugandan economy are the processing of agricultural products, the manufacture of light consumer goods and textiles, and the production of beverages.

The trade mission delegation consists of 13 companies focusing on agribusiness. The mission program includes a high-level South Africa-Uganda Business Forum to be held at the Golden Tulip Canaan Kampala Hotel on Tuesday 21 June 2022, followed by business-to-business meetings between delegation members and local representatives. This forum will bring our Western Cape businesses and key local stakeholders under one roof for fruitful discussion and business matchmaking.

As a result of Covid travel restrictions, Wesgro led two virtual missions to Uganda recently which have not only resulted in relationship building, but also created excellent trade links between South African exporters and Ugandan businesses. Our current business visit to Uganda will build on this platform to showcase our agricultural equipment and expertise, goods and services and build in-person relationships during the Business-to-Business (B2B) exchanges.

In terms of exports, the Western Cape’s dominant export product to Uganda has been apples and pears valued at USD1.87m equivalent to 13.53% of all exports. Wine exports is placed second at a value of USD1.80m (12.85%), followed by agricultural crop protection products valued at USD1.22m (8.81%). Combined these three categories accounted for 35.19% of total product exports.

Our mission program will also include an exclusive wine tasting for invited Trade, Media, and VIP members (portfolio managers working in the food and beverage/hospitality industry, importers, sommeliers, wine boutiques, lifestyle & wine journalists). This event will be preceded by a network session with South African Wine at the Golden Tulip Hotel.

Our objective for this wine tasting is to increase awareness of premium brands in the market and create a platform for new exhibitors to meet trade representatives from upmarket hospitality establishments that will be attending the event for possible listing. We furthermore hope to grow our share of the market by cultivating appreciation of the excellent quality of South African wines. It is important for people to gain a better knowledge of SA wines and how to consume wine correctly and that is the message that we will be bringing across during the wine promotions. We are also hoping to have Ugandan supermarkets listing more South African wines in their shops and would like to see more Ugandan drinking South African wines responsibly.

Africa Desk Export Manager at Wesgro, Mission leader Tatiana Dos Santos, says “I am proud lead this agriculture business delegation to Uganda; this is the beginning of growing trade between the Western Cape and Uganda and boosting investment, including outward direct investment from the Western Cape into Uganda, is a priority for the Wesgro. This agribusiness trade mission to Uganda aim to identify major opportunities for businesspeople from both countries to boost growth, reduce poverty and broaden economic cooperation.

According to mission co-organizer, Hennie van der Merwe of the Agribusiness Development Corporation the agribusiness sector can and should be a major driver of economic development, job creation and rural prosperity in Uganda and on the African continent. “We believe that the vast experience and expertise of the South African commercial agribusiness sector can be leveraged to assist Uganda to expand and fast track the development of its own commercial farming and agribusiness sector. We are in full support of the Mission of the Ugandan Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry & Fisheries (MAAIF) which is ‘to transform subsistence farming to commercial agriculture‘ and look forward to engaging with officials and businesspeople to drive the implementation of this objective!

The Executive Manager Wendy Petersen, from South African Wine Industry Transformation Unit (SAWITU) states that The South African Wine Industry Transformation Unit (Witu) is delighted to partner with Wesgro on the mission to Uganda. The objective is to strengthen the relationship between Uganda and South Africa, to secure importer and distributors, obtain committed orders to increase production and achieve sustainability to create more jobs in South Africa and Uganda.

Wesgro the Official Tourism, Trade and Investment Promotion Agency
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