Ex­port trade vi­tal to boost econ­omy

Zululand Observer - Weekender - - ZO BUSINESS - Gugu Myeni

DUBE TradePort has been de­scribed as a valu­able as­set to the coun­try, hav­ing in­vested R11.5-bil­lion into the econ­omy.

The spe­cial eco­nomic zone, which in­cor­po­rates King Shaka In­ter­na­tional Air­port, fa­cil­i­tates the im­port and ex­port of di­verse goods and has cre­ated nearly 100 000 jobs.

Cargo vol­umes through Dube Cargo Ter­mi­nal have seen con­sid­er­able growth since the trade port’s open­ing in 2010.

To date, it has grown by 138%, in­clud­ing a 25% in­crease in 2017 com­pared to 2016, with a cor­re­spond­ing growth of 44% in rev­enue, far ex­ceed­ing the tar­geted 28%.

‘King Shaka In­ter­na­tional Air­port has con­tin­ued to show in­creased pas­sen­ger num­bers,’ said KZN MEC for Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment, Tourism and En­vi­ron­men­tal Af­fairs, Sihle Zikalala, at the open­ing of KZN Ex­port Week at the Dur­ban In­ter­na­tional Con­ven­tion Cen­tre on Tues­day.

‘It has ex­pe­ri­enced the high­est growth, with pas­sen­ger num­bers in­creas­ing by 7.7% to 5.64 mil­lion for the pre­vi­ous fi­nan­cial year. Its do­mes­tic pas­sen­ger base has grown by 8.47% in the first three months of 2018.’

The MEC said ex­port trade can play a vi­tal role in the cre­ation of jobs es­sen­tial for a re­duc­tion of cur­rent unem­ploy­ment fig­ures.

‘South Africa’s ex­port lev­els are well below those found in many emerg­ing mar­kets, with the bulk con­cen­tra­tion on raw ma­te­ri­als.

‘As a gov­ern­ment, we want to see more fin­ished prod­ucts ex­ported and value added in­dus­tries cre­ated, which in turn, will sta­bilise our econ­omy, cre­ate jobs and re­duce unem­ploy­ment,’ he said.

Ex­port Week, which is this year held un­der the theme `Think Global: KZN the African Trade Hub’, high­lights the sig­nif­i­cance of the sec­tor to the econ­omy.

The event was de­vel­oped to pro­mote and as­sist with grow­ing ex­port op­por­tu­ni­ties in the prov­ince.

It pro­vides ex­port-ready busi­nesses with a plat­form to en­hance their in­ter­na­tional busi­ness de­vel­op­ment strate­gies.

The en­gage­ments will also fo­cus on how KZN busi­nesses can cap­i­talise on re­la­tions fa­cil­i­tated through trade mis­sions and Brazil, Rus­sia, In­dia, China and South Africathe BRICS coun­tries.

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