Mbabane: The Eswatini Investment Promotion Authority (EIPA) and Taiwan Trade (TAITRA) are on a drive to invite local companies in Eswatini to build relationships with potential suppliers from Taiwan.
In a statement sent to this publication, distributors and retailers from Eswatini will be given the opportunity to interact with Taiwanese manufacturers who supply a number of products in business sub-sectors such as industrial machinery, medical supplies and equipment, automobiles spares, systems and information technology, office equipment and other consumables.
To help companies in Eswatini build these relationships to import goods from Taiwan, TAITRA and EIPA will host a series of free online Business to Business meetings from 29th June to 1st July where local companies are invited to take part in sessions with these suppliers in Taiwan. It is hoped that these meetings will yield positive results for participants allowing them to possibly sign dealership and distributor contracts with Taiwanese manufacturers; agreements which could yield great advantages for local companies who correctly negotiate their agreements.
The sessions to be held on 29th and 30th June will focus on the medical, manufacturing, automotive and consumables sectors while the sessions to be held on 1st July 2021, will maintain a strict focus on creating trade opportunities for those specifically focused on ICT goods and services.
Bongani Ntshangase, Head of Trade at EIPA explained that this opportunity is meant to diversify Eswatini’s international trade sources. “Increasing the number of markets from which we source goods presents
Eswatini companies with an opportunity to offer our local and regional markets more variety in terms of the quality goods and services they are able to offer. It also allows them to present competitive prices for products being sold based on favourable supplier cost. We would like to encourage Eswatini companies to take advantage of this opportunity as a way of developing their competitive advantage and ultimately tapping into or growing their presence in the African consumer market.
Capturing this market means they will also get to enjoy the benefits offered by various trade agreements between Eswatini and other regions such as the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AfTCA) which offers suppliers a number of benefits.”
Companies that are interested in taking part in these B2B sessions can register by visiting http://joburg.taiwantrade.com. The deadline for registration is 25 June 2021. Registration is essential as sessions will be booked in 30 minute slots beforehand. Those who are able to secure meeting slots for the various dates will be assisted on a first come first served basis between 09:00 and 12:00 on each respective day.
Ntshangase said sourcing alternative markets for businesses in Eswatini holds many advantages for local enterprises as it increases affordability through indirect competitive bidding. This simply means that local buyers will get to enjoy higher negotiating power due to diversity of supply.
“We will also be in an advantaged position when it comes to negotiating for trade opportunities for our exports. Facilitating these meetings will assist us in extending our list of dominant import suppliers who are currently South Africa, the US, India, Europe and Mainland China,” he said.
In order to ensure the relevance of sessions for participants, EIPA and TAITRA will share business profiles of the potential suppliers with local businesses ahead of the registration deadline. This will allow potential buyers from Eswatini to do research on their products and supplier of interest and select their chosen session correctly.
“As it has been said, our ultimate goal with this initiative is to allow businesses from Eswatini to expand their supplier list and ultimately the value they are able to offer locally by increasing their product offering. We hope this will also encourage locals to extend their market reach into Africa through AfTCA and other trade agreements,” said Ntshangase.
He further stated that, a wider product range allows one to reach out to more consumers who need different goods and services. We also hope that this will kick start new and upcoming industries in the country as entrepreneurs get exposed to fresh business ideas where possible.
“We would also like to see local assembly plants for these products being set up should entrepreneurs be able to see the prospects for that scale of opportunity and supply. An example here is the assembly of solar energy components which can be done on local soil with components imported directly from the manufacturer in Taiwan.”
Ntshangase encouraged entrepreneurs to think big while exploring opportunities as this will ultimately result in economic growth for the good of our country and expand business activity locally.