Gauteng Business News

Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  12 May 2009

Business: SMMEs Seeking Start Up Opportunities Should Visit SAITEX


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In the words of business icon, Richard Branson, “Fortunes are made out of recessions. A lot of entrepreneurs get going in the economic depths because the barriers to entry are lower." This statement rings especially true in today’s economic conditions, even more than many may realise.

SAITEX, to be held at Gallagher Convention Centre from 19 to 21 July 2009, offers SMMEs a well-established platform to generate great business opportunities from new international sources. Under new management, SAITEX has a new face and a new approach – offering a catalyst for growth. Running alongside Exhibition Management Services’ (EMS) flagship event, “Africa’s Big Seven” (AB7), SAITEX aims to open the doors of opportunity to African, and particularly South African, entrepreneurs and SMMEs.

Hundreds of companies from around the globe will be exhibiting at SAITEX – including Argentina, Brazil, China, Egypt, Ghana, India, Pakistan, Malaysia, Nigeria, Poland, Turkey, Singapore, Thailand, and the United Kingdom. According to John Thomson, CEO of EMS, these companies are all new to the South African market and are looking for joint ventures, agents, importers, distributors and wholesalers to assist them in establishing their business in Africa.

“Africa is a very attractive market for international trade and business at the moment and South Africa is the springboard into the rest of Africa”, says Thomson. “Entrepreneurs and new businesses and existing companies need to take advantage of the many new international opportunities that SAITEX presents.”

Since the economic crisis began in 2008, over 100 000 jobs have been lost in South Africa, but it doesn’t end there. A further 200 000 to 300 000 jobs are on the line this year as the crisis intensifies. Buyelwa Sonjica, minerals and energy minister, has stated that this has severe ramifications as every job in South Africa supports at least eight other South Africans. This means a potential impact on 2.4 million South Africans.

The Southern African Small Business Development Initiative will form an integral part of the strategy for SAITEX 2009. The initiative will focus on SMMEs and their challenges, risks and opportunities. Key players and stakeholders in the industry will be taking part in a conference to be held at the event. In South Africa, small businesses only contribute about 35% to GDP whereas in developed countries, their contribution is approximately 60%. “Small business support is sorely needed in South Africa,” says Thomson. “SAITEX offers this support and an excellent occasion to meet potential business partners.”

A professional business-to-business match-making programme will be run at the show to enhance the networking system businesses thrive on. Exhibitors and pre-registered visitors will be able to submit, free of charge, their details and business requirements. These details are assessed and profiled by match-making professionals, using various databases, additional research tools and a sophisticated computer programme to ensure that companies and individuals are ideally matched for one-on-one meetings.

Exhibitors at this year’s show are looking for joint ventures, agents, importers, distributors, wholesalers and retailers of the following products:

Fast-moving consumer goods
Retail-ready products
Electrical and electronic items
Engineering goods and services
Building and construction products
Food, beverages and catering equipment
Footwear and leather products
Industrial products
Manufacturing technologies
Plastic ware, home ware, kitchenware and cookware
White and brown goods
Home entertainment equipment
Office equipment
Sports equipment

Now in its 16th year, SAITEX is being held at the same location as AB7 for the first time. AB7 is the continent’s largest food industry event, with 239 exhibitors from 19 countries and 7000 visitors from 43 countries. The parallel hosting of these two events will have an extremely positive effect for any business visiting these two successful events. SAITEX is truly an international opportunity not to be missed by any individual starting out or even well-established businesses, in the above-mentioned industries.

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