By Yonela Winayi
The Eastern Cape Development Corporation (ECDC) hosted the third annual Eastern Cape Export Symposium and Exhibition successfully at the East London International Convention Centre, the symposium and exhibition was a two-day event which spanned from March 24 and 25.
This year’s theme was ‘Reset Eastern Cape export and improve the economic resilience’ considering how many businesses were harshly impacted by the covid-19 pandemic. Essentially the symposium was a means to roll out a recovery plan for the Eastern Cape economy and to equip business with knowledge on how they thrive during the pandemic.
Speakers at the conference hailed from various participating countries like Ghana, China, Australia, Ethiopia, Guinea and Botswana. The entrepreneurs present at the symposium got to interact with the speakers and had the opportunity to pitch their businesses to international investors
The conference was set up virtually and physically, 33 stalls represented physically whilst 7 were connected online. The manner in which the conference was facilitated meant that delegates, exporters, exhibitors and investors could interact and showcase their products at a level that suited them.
Provision was made for 33 stalls and ranged from stalls that showcased clothing and textiles, manufacturing and food and beverages that are locally produced for exporting purposes.
Stalls that stood out included Kolimonty, who exhibited their road maintenance inventions; Qoboqobo Essential Oils, a non-profit organisation from Keiskamahoek; Raaha showcased an unusual concoction of sources such as their biltong jam.
The most popular of stall with the exhibitioners was Emba Wines owned by NTU News Publisher, Babsi Mcinga, who offered a tasting of their 2020 Rosẻ.
Networking was at the core of the exhibition as entrepreneurs shared their business operations and engaged on ideas of how they could collaborate in the near future.