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Western Cape targets US to increase trade between destinations

Following the success of the UK effort, which has recently concluded, Wesgro has selected the US as the next target market, with the United States ranking as the Western Cape's top export market in 2022. The team has identified New York as an important market with strong buying power, and a familiarity with South Africa.
Source: ©jaysi via
Source: ©jaysi via 123RF

Over the past decade, trade between the Western Cape and the US has increased by 11.4% on average, with total trade valued at R23.59 billion in 2021.

"Made in the Cape US", a collaboration between the Western Cape Government, the City of Cape Town and Wesgro, is set to go live in the market at the end of September 2022. The targeted digital campaign showcases a unified brand for proudly Western Cape products and services - driving international buyers to the CapeTradePortal.com.

The Cape Trade Portal acts as a virtual matchmaking tool, connecting buyers across the globe to local sellers of products and services. In particular, the platform is accelerating access to goods and services in the Western Cape – opening up greater opportunities for those in the province registered on the portal. To date, the portal boasts over 600 registered exporters, listing over 3,000 products. Driving further inclusion, 119 of the businesses listed on the platform are 100% women-owned.

The previous "Made in the Cape UK" effort successfully resulted in 16 million unique users reached, with over 200,000 clicks to the trade portal from over 112,000 users.

Increase marketing support

Wrenelle Stander, Wesgro CEO, goes on to explain: "The campaign was born out of the need from local exporters for increased marketing support internationally. The Cape Trade Portal works efficiently to facilitate trade in new ways and acts as the catalyst for important conversations and connections. We are proudly pioneering new ways to promote the destination as a sought-after source market for goods and services, driving potential buyers directly to sellers visible via the portal."

"The launch of this campaign, targeting the US market is well timed following the recent announcements that US airlines – United and Delta – will start their direct routes to Cape Town from Newark and Washington, and Atlanta, respectively. There is a demand for proudly Western Cape goods, which is why now is the perfect time for a targeted push to boost exports to the US further. Increasing connections to other markets is a strategic priority for the Western Cape Government so that we can increase tourism and trade and attract the investment we need to grow the economy and create jobs." says Mireille Wenger, provincial minister of finance and economic opportunities.

Boosting visibility of local exports

The campaign also aims to strengthen the identity of Western Cape exports by ensuring the Cape is synonymous with quality across six 'hero' products including rooibos (natural products), citrus (agriculture), wine (wine and spirits), software development (tech innovation), design (creative industries), and yacht manufacturing (boat building).

Re-purposing content created to maximise spend on media partnerships, Made in the Cape US is set significantly boost the visibility of local exporters by driving buyers to the Cape Trade Portal.

Alderman James Vos, the City of Cape Town’s mayoral committee member for economic growth, concludes: "Our goal is to build a stronger, more resilient, and inclusive economy. Towards this end, the City proudly funds the portal. This fulfils our commitment to ensuring that our producers access markets, which leads to business growth and greater job opportunities."


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