Her Majesty’s Trade Commissioner for Africa, Emma Wade-Smith OBE shared her insights on the successes, challenges and future of trade between SA and the UK during the SACC Round Table breakfast event on 4 March 2020.
Emma noted that key challenges are finding South African business or government projects where there is the means and resources to engage with the investor or supplier from the UK. Interestingly, even though the UK is a major trading partner for South Africa, there is limited data in the UK on the trading occurring with South Africa.
Other challenges that Emma’s department is faced with is the noise from Brexit, the building of new capabilities in the Department of International Trade in the UK and the limited effective engagement they have engineered with the Department of Trade and Industry in SA and other related government departments in SA.
Emma, in her can-do-style (SA has rubbed off on her), is finding ways of working directly with the Department of International Trade regions within the UK to reach the companies they feel should have an interest in the South African market.
As Emma remains actively engaged with the Chamber, we look forward to watching this relationship unfold, and hope to do our part to encourage that to happen.