ECIC supports the expansion of South African businesses in Africa

"The ECIC is actively supporting energy projects in various countries in Africa, specifically Sub-Saharan Africa, which is a key export market for the electro-technical industry in South Africa.

February 2015 – South Africa's energy sector investment remains a focus of attention as the nation grapples with the challenges of load shedding and power constraints. With these challenges, exciting opportunities have opened up for South African manufacturers and energy businesses on the broader continent.

The Export Credit Insurance Corporation of South Africa (ECIC), South Africa's government-backed export credit insurance agency, is providing these companies and projects with the backing that they need to successfully build their projects and place their footprints on the continent.

"The ECIC is actively supporting energy projects in various countries in Africa, specifically Sub-Saharan Africa, which is a key export market for the electro-technical industry in South Africa. We have recently provided insurance cover to the 450MW independent power project in Kpone, Ghana and are due to close another major power project in Mozambique. We are also actively pursuing opportunities in the LNG gas sector in a number of jurisdictions," says ECIC CEO, Kutoane Kutoane.

Sub-Saharan Africa is South Africa's key export market. Exports of electrical and electro-technical products from South Africa have grown largely in line with global growth. The export community within South Africa has established itself for the 
"SA Incorporated" approach when it comes to opportunities abroad.

Beyond Sub-Saharan Africa, the broader continent is the natural market for exporters with Africa representing 92% of the ECIC's total portfolio of approximately R20.5 billion. South Africa exports a high proportion of value-added exports to the rest of Africa, with transport equipment, machinery, mechanical appliances, iron and steel articles, chemicals, mineral fuels, food and beverages, and clothing and textiles goods accounting for approximately 90% of South Africa's total exports.

As Africa's economies progress, analysts are projecting that opportunities will open up in sectors such as retail, tourism, telecommunications, financial services, infrastructure-related industries, resource-related businesses, and along the agricultural value chain. This will expand the footprint of South African businesses on the continent. There are various opportunities for South African exporters that are actively being pursued, both short term and medium long-term.

"ECIC supports the export of capital goods and services which have an enormous economic value in terms of contribution to GDP and employment creation. South African based investors wanting to expand into the rest of the world can also be supported by the ECIC against negative political interventions towards their investments," says Kutoane.

"The ECIC is embarking on a pro-active marketing and business development strategy towards Africa, approaching potential importing opportunities in specifically identified countries, with the view of initiating export interest within the South African manufacturing and exporting community," he explains.

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