AWEX economic delegation to Durban and Johannesburg07/04/2016

In February 2015, a trade delegation consisting of 50 businessmen and women from Wallonia, representing around 30 companies visited South Africa, spending 1 day in Durban and 2 days in the city of gold, Johannesburg.

For a majority of them, it was their first encounter with the leading economy of Africa and the ideal opportunity to evaluate the potential of the market and establish the first contacts with commercial partners.

After a short briefing held at the Port Edward Hotel in Durban, the companies spent the rest of the day in business-to-business meetings. For our CEO, Pascale Delcomminette, the day was extremely busy, with a meeting at the Durban harbour with the port authorities, a visit to the impressive Moses Mabhida stadium, a call to the Head of Department of the International Relations, eThekwini Municipality, a lunch with the local Belgian business community and a meeting with the directors of the office of Trade & Investment Kwazulu Natal, an organisation similar to the AWEX.

The 2 days in Johannesburg were well spent, with a focus on the organisation of meetings bringing the Wallonian businesses in contact with local companies that best fit their profile. The official delegation had a well filled programme again, with visit to the NRF, the DTi and to the BEKA Schréder production plant, a local subsidiary of the company based in Liège. A luncheon was organised at the residence of the Belgian Ambassador in Pretoria with South African investors in Wallonia. On Friday, the program was as intense, starting with a courtesy visit to office of the Gauteng Growth and Development Agency (GGDA), followed by a meeting with the students at the Sizanani mentorship program, a flying visit to the Air Cargo Africa Conference at the Emperors Palace Hotel to congratulate Liège Airport, silver sponsor of the event and to finish off, a round-table with Belgian expats around the ‘Feel inspired’ branding.

On Thursday night, a reception for the delegates and their guests was organised at the Balalaika Hotel. For all it was a relaxing evening, with networking opportunities and time to enjoy the South African hospitality.