Export trade vital to boost economy
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.