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Wednesday, 12 October 2016

South Africa: Western Cape Government Discusses Brexit Impact

Western Cape businesses have discussed the implications for the province's economy of the anticipated United Kingdom exit from the European Union. Alan Winde, MEC of Economic Opportunities, yesterday chaired a seminar of 30 local businesses from various sectors. The seminar was hosted by Wesgro and was attended by the British Consul, Ed Roman. MEC Winde has been liaising with the office of the British Consul since the historic 'Brexit' referendum results were announced. MEC Winde said the UK was the second strongest export market for the Western Cape in the last financial year and the largest source market for FDI into the province. According to Wesgro, exports to the UK were valued at R8.9 billion in 2015, and the province had a positive trade surplus of R877 million. Exports to the entire European Union (EU) were valued at R33 billion in 2015, with the UK accounting for 36% of these purchases. Winde said: "The UK has long been a major market for Western Cape agriculture and agri-processed products. Last year, the UK bought R1.5 billion worth of wine, R1.2 billion worth of apples and pears, and R4.8 billion of citrus from the Cape."Brexit will no doubt cause big shifts in trade patterns. As a province we have been determined to commence engagements on future trade arrangements with the UK as early as possible to ensure that we remain a trading partner of choice. We need to make sure we forge mutually beneficial trade and investment relations with that market, while growing our strong relations with the EU."

Source: allafrica.com