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Next steps taken towards national export strategy for the craft and design sector

Wednesday, 25 July 2018   (0 Comments)
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The CDI has been playing a key role over the past few months in the development of a national export strategy for the craft and design sector. In July, three engagement sessions with stakeholders were hosted in Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town.


The CDI is part of a task team appointed with the backing of the national departments of Small Business Development and Trade and Industry. This task team has been driving the strategy development process.


The team is being assisted by Jim Tersteeg, a consultant appointed by the Centre for the Promotion of Imports from developing countries (CBI). The CBI is part of the Netherlands Enterprise Agency and is commissioned by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands. CBI’s mission is to contribute to sustainable economic development in developing countries through the expansion of exports from these countries.

Jim has been working with the natural ingredient sector in South Africa over the last two years and has helped them establish the Natural Ingredients Export Council. He has been working with the CDI on a number of programmes over the past five years and has a very good understanding of the context in South Africa.


The task team identified four important areas that needed to be ‘interrogated’ to inform a coherent and impactful strategy.


These were: 
•    Skills & design
•    Production
•    Commercialisation
•    Business enabling environment


The process to gather information from role players in the sector began with a survey that concluded in March. Over 400 responses were received to be analysed by the task team.


According to Fran Stewart, Market Development Manager at the CDI, the three sessions hosted in July were very productive. “Key topics were discussed in depth in relation to the survey results of earlier this year, and we found that there were definite themes and commonalities that came up across the three meetings. We are very grateful to all those that participated and for the invaluable input.”


Jim added that during these sessions all participants had the opportunity to discuss the four areas of interest in detail. Furthermore, they had a closer look on the strengths, weaknesses and threats in the sector with respect to exports.

“These sessions proved to be valuable and the participants’ discussions provided further detail and background to the survey results. In the coming weeks the results of the stakeholder sessions will be further analysed and together with the survey results be transformed into the main building blocks of a draft export strategy. A second survey (in September 2018) will be conducted to validate the strategic objective areas among the actors and stakeholders of the sector. After that the draft strategy will be presented and discussed in the task team and then distributed for further comment before being finalis

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