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Trade, Exports and Investment
 

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Learn to Export
 

Export Readiness Assessment

In order to become an exporter, you should be in at least one of two situations:

The first situation is that you hold a strong position at the buyer's end. You either have a special relationship with an international buyer or you have the necessary expertise for specific markets and have the ability to secure markets for a variety of products. If you are in this position, you would be referred to as a procurement agent or middleman (general trader). You would normally work according to a buyer's shopping list, or respond to international tenders, and would not necessarily have expertise in the products being bought.

The second situation is that you have a product or a range of products, or have assured access to the product, and have expertise in trading in that specific product. It is preferable that you are currently selling the product into the domestic market and now wish to expand to international markets. Exporting should not be seen as a separate industry but merely as an extension of your local market.

If you qualify under the second situation, your success in international markets will be dependant on two main considerations: Is your business export ready? Is your product export ready?

To look at these two considerations in greater detail, we've prepared a number of questions for you to assess your business against. By going through some of the questions, you should begin to realise how you stand in terms of export readiness. To view the assessment questions, click on your relevant need below:

Setting up the export order

To set up an export order a number of important factors need to be considered, including the international purchase order, a pro forma invoice, and documentary credit. For more detailed information and case studies, Read more.

Processing the export order

Once you have established your sales contract, by either being in possession of an international purchase order or a documentary credit stating you as the beneficiary, you are now in a position to commence the export cycle. The cycle consists of four steps, namely setting up the deal, shipping the goods, getting paid, and providing follow-up and service. For more detailed information and case studies, Read more.

Export Help Desk

The Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) has established an Export Help Desk at the dti Campus in Pretoria to provide South African firms- small, medium and large enterprises - with export information and advice. The objective of the help desk is to respond to client enquiries within 24 hours.

Export Help Desk offers the following services:

  • Export Information and advice;
  • Export-readiness assessments;
  • Sector reports;
  • Trade lead bulletins;
  • Export enquiries;
  • Trade opportunities;
  • Information on export incentives;
  • Statistics on trade between South Africa and other countries;
  • Guides on doing business with other countries;
  • Calendar of export-awareness seminars;
  • Global Exporter Passport Programme training, international trade missions and national pavilions
  • Linking South African exporters with importers
For more information, contact the help desk at:

Working Days: Monday to Friday (Closed on weekends and public holidays)
Time: 08:00 to 16:00
Tel: 0861 843 384
E-mail: exporthelpdesk@thedti.gov.za