Dozens of buyers from around the globe will gather in the Mother City to meet with more than 300 local exporters at the inaugural Made in the Cape 2023 expo.
The dedicated hosted buyers programme, initiated and hosted by Wesgro, will take place from 1 to 3 March and more than 600 B2B meetings have been scheduled.
According to Wesgro, the expo is a culminating point for the virtual Cape Trade Portal – bringing to life the digital trade matchmaking platform with in-person interaction through the Made in the Cape 2023 programme.
Growing export opportunities
The 30 selected buyers, coming from 18 different countries around the world, were vetted following a selection process, with exporters pre-selected by buyers via the Cape Trade Portal. Amongst the buyers are New York’s Wine for the World, Cameroons DOVV Distribution SARL, and Safco International from the United Arab Emirates.
Ensuring buyers get to experience the Western Cape and build brand love for the destination, the first day of activities will include leisure tourism experiences around the city. This will be followed by an official opening ceremony, with Western Cape Premier Alan Winde and other Western Cape Government and City of Cape Town officials in attendance. The following two days of the programme are dedicated to in-person B2B meetings.
“Our goal as the City government is to build a stronger, more resilient and inclusive economy. Increasing export opportunities by connecting local producers with international buyers via Made in the Cape 2023 directly speaks to this goal. I’m also pleased to see that the Cape Trade Portal is delivering such excellent results because, as a City, we have motivated for a platform that will make market access easier for local businesses. I look forward to seeing more Cape products in markets across the globe,” said Alderman James Vos, the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Growth.
Wesgro CEO, Wrenelle Stander, added: “Cape Town and the Western Cape is a sought-after source market on the African continent. Seeing trade innovation translate into a tangible experience that will welcome up to 18 different countries to our region holds an abundance of opportunity for local exporters. Pioneering smart ways for increased market access will continue to be a focus for Wesgro in 2023, increasing our competitiveness and global footprint across the globe.”
The ‘Made in the Cape’ brand was successfully launched in the UK – driving buyers to the Cape Trade Portal, as well as encouraging local exporters to expand their global footprint through registering on the virtual marketplace free of charge.
Following the UK success, Wesgro’s chief marketing and innovation officer, Jean Scheltema, explains how the targeted digital campaign was launched, and is currently running in the US market, with 42,000 clicks already achieved to the Cape Trade Portal and over 1.4 million unique views of exports content produced across products and services.
“Seeing The ‘Made in the Cape’ region of origin brand come to fruition as an impactful event in the Western Cape’s calendar is rewarding. 2023 will see us bring Made in Cape to life in a well-known South African retail space demonstrating the effectiveness of a unified approach in market,” added Scheltema.