Trade Ties Strengthened Between Western Cape and Shandong Province, China | Western Cape Government



Trade Ties Strengthened Between Western Cape and Shandong Province, China

8 March 2013

Gerrit van Rensburg, Western Cape Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, this past Friday hosted Zhang Jian Guo, Shandong Province’s Vice-Governor, in Cape Town. The purpose of the meeting was to strengthen the trade ties between the two regions, as well as an opportunity to showcase some of the Western Cape’s finest wines.

Van Rensburg said the wine industry plays a vital role in the Western Cape economy, both as earner of foreign revenue and as a source of employment. The wine industry contributes R26 billion to the South African economy and provides more than 275 000 jobs throughout the economic value chain.

Van Rensburg said that for each R1 million generated through wine exports, 46 job opportunities are created in the economy. An increase in demand for R1 million of grapes will create an additional 113 job opportunities. Van Rensburg stressed the importance of at least maintaining, but preferably increasing, our agricultural export profile.

Both the Western Cape and Shandong Provinces belong to the Regional Leader Grouping.  This diplomatic platform gives Western Cape wine business access to the annual Yantai International Wine Festival in Shandong Province. This year will be the third time Van Rensburg leads the Western Cape official and business delegation to the Festival.

Western Cape Wine exports to China have increased significantly during the past years, growing at 50% per year for the last three years. Van Rensburg believes there is still much potential to explore for wine, but also for other agricultural produce, such as fresh fruit, in the Chinese market.

The Regional Leaders Grouping consists  of:  Bavaria (Germany);  Upper Austria (Austria);  Québec (Canada);  São Paulo (Brazil);  Shandong (Peoples’ Republic of China);  Georgia (USA);  and the Western Cape (South Africa).    

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