11.07.2018

2018 Agbiz Congress - Model will help to identify export opportunities

Trade facilitation and cost reduction strategies can help to unlock South Africa’s economic potential through increased exports and more scientific fact-based market intelligence. This should be at the centre of strategic decision-making and trade facilitation initiatives, increasing trade in goods and services between South Africa and the rest of the world. The same applies to agro-industry related stakeholders. This was the message to the 2018 Agbiz Congress of Prof Wilma Viviers, director of the TRADE research entity and World Trade Organization chair holder at the North-West University, and Martin Cameron, managing director of the TRADE Research Advisory. 

Trade facilitation and cost reduction strategies can help to unlock South Africa’s economic potential through increased exports and more scientific fact-based market intelligence. This should be at the centre of strategic decision-making and trade facilitation initiatives, increasing trade in goods and services between South Africa and the rest of the world. The same applies to agro-industry related stakeholders. This was the message to the 2018 Agbiz Congress of Prof Wilma Viviers, director of the TRADE research entity and World Trade Organization chair holder at the North-West University, and Martin Cameron, managing director of the TRADE Research Advisory.

They focus on developing strategies for export promotion by means of their DSM model.

The DSM approach (a trade facilitation tool) provides short and longer term benefits to government and industry stakeholders. In the short term, the model provides easier-to-access markets with fairly low barriers to entry. In the longer term the model identifies less accessible markets which call for intervention at strategic and policy level.

“Reducing trade costs through focused trade facilitation and policy reform can help South African agro-industry exports to diversify into both existing and new markets. While useful and productive, the TRADE-DSM approach needs more detailed analysis, especially from the production side. Non-tariff barriers also need further investigation,” Cameron said.

Application of the DSM for agro-processing related products revealed that South Africa has a pool of more than 6 284 possible agro-processing value chain opportunities. This means untapped potential of approximately US$ 21 billion that needs to be explored in more depth. Processed food has the largest potential, followed by agricultural inputs such as fertiliser and equipment.

If suppliers are pro-active and innovative they could potentially gain further market share in the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands, Denmark and Germany, Cameron said.