Two brothers were able to land a half-a-million rand order for their textile business after taking part in a Department of Trade and Industry trade mission recently.
Since the conclusion of that contract Turkish-born brothers Muzaffer and Mustafa Sesli’s Sesli Textiles, has done so well that the total worth of orders to date resulting from an Angolan trade mission in July is estimated to be around a few million rand.
The orders are to provide an Angolan company with blankets for Angola’s Police department.
Muzaffer was a part of the South African business delegation that attended the International Fair of Luanda Trade Exhibition (Filda) in July.
He says they started their business in South Africa 1999 following a South African embassy foreign investment drive.
The Sesli’s Turkish-based business was already exporting to South Africa and it was fairly easy to set up in South Africa because the brothers already had business contacts and a market here.
However, Muzaffer says he only began attending the department’s trade missions last year, with the first trade mission also being Filda. No orders were received from last year’s trade mission.
However, this did not deter him from applying to attend this year’s trade mission.
“We received an email from the department at the beginning of the year with a list of trade missions for the upcoming year and decided to apply for the Luanda trade fair again,” says Muzaffer, who was one of 27 SA business owners that attended the event.
He says the application process was simple and once approved, the department paid for samples of Sesli’s products to be transported to the event and covered the cost of exhibition space for the business.
Muzaffer says the brothers were especially interested in attending the Angolan trade mission because they had been trying for some time to enter that country’s market.
“We want to expand to the rest of Africa and Angola is a very important market for us. Angola is still developing and doing business with their government has a lot of potential. This will help us to bring foreign currency into South Africa,” says Muzaffer.
His advice to other business owners who want to attend trade missions is that they should not give up after their first trade mission if they don’t receive any orders.
“Target the countries that are right for your business, but don’t expect business in the first year. Once you are recognised as a regular on the trade missions will you get long-lasting business,” says Muzaffer.
Daryl De Swardt of Macadams Food Service Solutions also attended Filda 2014.
De Swardt says his company has reaped the benefits from the opportunities that Angola offers.
Macadams is currently supplying equipment to Angola and wants to grow by establishing new relationships in that country.
The department’s director for export promotion Julias Nyalunga says the aim of the trade mission was to tackle South Africa’s trade deficit with Angola.
Business owners who attended Filda represented sectors such as hydro-power, agro-processing, capital equipment and information, technology and communication.
- Visit www.thedti.gov.za for more information.