IN a bid to create a platform for South African products to enter the Swiss and European markets, the Swiss Import Promotion Programme (Sippo) held an information-sharing session in Nelson Mandela Bay last night.
Organised by the Eastern Cape Development Corporation (ECDC), the event was focused on building partnerships between Switzerland and South Africa to explore potential business opportunities.
The Swiss want to partner with South African companies involved in the engineering field, including sub-contracting, sheet mechanical engineering, electrical engineering and electronics, metal processing and machined parts.
ECDC business adviser for market access Colleen Siwisa said: "We [ECDC] normally deal with foreign agencies and this is one of them. This is mainly to create a platform for local companies to market their products to the Swiss market.”
Siwisa said the aim of the event was also to increase the competitiveness of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in selected partner countries and to develop the manufacturing and exporting skills of SMEs.
"The point of these information-sharing sessions is to create a platform for local companies to market their products and the Swiss are encouraging them to export their products to the euro market.
"The Sippo will go to other cities, like Johannesburg and Cape Town, for the same purpose.
"Right now they are focused on the western part of the Eastern Cape, but they are hoping to come back in the future to strengthen the relationships.”
At the session, Sippo advised companies on how to get their feet into the Swiss market, and shared trade contacts.