SA hosts virtual wine trade mission

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Wine Source: Google Images

In a bid to enhance bilateral trade and investment ties, the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (dtic) – in collaboration with Wesgro – will host a virtual wine mission to South Korea.

Wesgro is the Western Cape’s destination marketing, investment and trade promotion agency.

Thursday’s virtual wine mission, which will get underway on Zoom, will showcase 10 wineries from the Western Cape region.

Deputy Minister of the dtic, Nomalungelo Gina, said the COVID-19 pandemic has not only impacted the healthcare sector negatively, but the economy in its entirety.

“A sector that has been particularly impacted by COVID-19 has been the wine industry, owing to the ban placed on alcohol sales by government and the accompanying travel protocols. Wesgro identified this to be a critical sector requiring support and had embarked on the concept of a virtual mission that would enable the promotion of small to large size wineries to new markets,” said the Deputy Minister on Wednesday.

She said exports from South Africa have been hindered, owing to travel restrictions, necessitating trade practitioners to develop new platforms for business engagements.

The wineries will present their respective wines to an audience of 20 South Korean wine importers and distributors, who will have an opportunity to taste the wines from these wineries, which were shipped to South Korea ahead of the mission.

Wines of South Africa (WOSA), a marketing organisation for South African wine exports, the South African Embassy and Wesgro, are confident that the wineries selected represent a good mix of established and up-and-coming brands, which have the capability to service the South Korean market.

“South Korea is an important partner for South Africa in the Asian region. Our objective is to strengthen and deepen economic linkages through strong business and governmental cooperation between the two countries,” said Gina.

Total trade between the two countries has been growing steadily, and amounted to R34 billion in 2019, with the trade balance in South Africa’s favour.

“South Africa’s exports have also demonstrated an upward trajectory over the years, from R13.8 billion in 2015 to R21.6 billion in 2019. However, we need to focus our efforts on diversifying the trade basket towards ensuring more value added goods are exported going forward,” said Gina.