Volume 2 | Number 2


arrowIntroducing Jamaica
arrowWorld Business Directory
arrowThe South African Print & Packaging Export Council
arrowDoing business in ... the Netherlands!
arrowBilateral Chambers: The SA - Netherlands Chamber of Commerce
arrowE-marketplaces - for the chemical industry
arrowTUSKON 2009 - Go do business in Turkey
arrowWorld Expo 2010 Shanghai, China
arrowITC - Export Quality Management
arrowSomething to read ... about exports and exporting



Exporters Club

Become part of the South African Export Community


Explore ExportHelp:

Step 7: Selecting and researching potential countries/markets abroad

Prepare a research brief
Export research budget
Evaluating the cost/benefit of your export research
Implementing the research brief
Compiling a shortlist of countries
Evaluate the shortlisted countries in more detail
Preparing a research report


Export experiences from other parts of the world

Why is the United Nations working in fashion? (ITC)
Buy in Africa, Sustain local communities (ITC)
Good business - The potential of women-owned enterprises (ITC)
Export success stories - Genetiporc (ExportWise)
Ten tips for doing business in China (Canadexport)
How do I develop a trade secrets strategy for my business
Indonesia's Trade Decree 56/2008, signed on 24 December 2008, supersedes Decree 44/2008 (ieSingapore)
Export success stories - Two Singapore companies establish joint ventures in Oman (ieSingapore)
The BRIC (Brazil/Russia/India/China) countries (globalEDGE)


Upcoming international trade fairs
SIREME , France's international exhibition for renewable energy and energy management, Paris, June 24 -26, 2009. 
SINO Dental, China’s biggest dental exhibition, Beijing, June 10-13, 2009
VINITECH, Chile’s World of Agriculture in one place. Santiago, July, 9-11, 2009.
MEDICA, the world’s largest medical fair. Dusseldorf, November, 18-21, 2009

Our sister sites:










From the Editor

Welcome to the 2nd edition of the ExportHelp newsletter for 2009. This month I want to voice my frustration about the state of websites in South Africa. Being a digital business, I spend a lot of time online browsing through websites and a lot of what I come across frustrates me. To give you an example, I decided to visit the websites of the export councils as outlined on the Department of Trade and Industry's website. These organisations, I argued, should have websites that ought to inspire and promote exports and encourage foreign buyers to do business with our local companies.

Neels Bothma
The results were very disappointing! Of the 23 export councils, seven (30%) had no website at all. Of the remaining 16, eight (50%) of the websites were really poor and of very little value to local exporters or to foreign buyers. Most of the export councils with websites (53%) were dated with the information they carried on them. Numerous of these export councils (namely six or 38%) only had a very minor section (usually just a page) dedicated to exports within the context of the broader industry website. As such, these websites were not very useful in promoting exports. The long and short of it is that only five of the 23 organisations (22%) had a website that I thought was useful or inspirational, while nine out of 23 organisations (39%) had websites that I felt were adequate or better. Wines of South Africa (www.wosa.co.za) stood heads and shoulders above everyone else. Clearly not a great state of affairs

For reference purposes, you can visit a table that I have compiled of these websites, together with my comments and scoring (based on whether I felt that the website was useful to exporters and potential foreign buyers or not). Click here to access the table.

Given this poor situation, I decided to have a look at some of the websites of our leading exporters. To this end, I decided to visit the websites of recent export award winners from Gauteng, KZN, Mpumalanga, the Eastern Cape and the Western Cape. Altogether, I visited 29 websites of export award winners and finalists. Of these, only two were found to have no website at all that I could track down. One, a big organisation namely CapeSpan, appeared to have a website but that simply did not want to open up and kept freezing my computer (I tried two different computers and two different internet access points, but to no avail). Thus a total of three of the 29 organisations (or just over 10%) could not be accessed; the rest all had websites.

Of the remaining 26 websites, five (or 19%) had quite poor or amateurish websites that did nothing to promote their export endeavours and even distracted from the export successes of the companies in question. Four of these 26 websites (15%) were considered to be just adequate or average. They provided the essentials, but little more. A further four (15%) were found to be acceptable, although not exceptionally good. These last-mentioned websites provided essential information and maybe a little more. However, some of them had information that was out-of-date or they had errors on their site, and a lot more could be done with these websites!

Lastly, only 12 of the original 29 websites (or 41%) were considered to be either very good or excellent in the task of promoting their respective organisations - not a good result at all. Websites, after all, serve as a fantastic tool to promote a firm's export endeavours and one would expect our leading firms to be using the virtual realm to the maximum in their export promotion efforts. If this is the situation with our leading exporters, what's happening with the websites of the rest of our exporters?

To view my review of these above-mentioned websites and my comments and ratings, click here .

In this and future newsletters, I will look at different aspects of the role of electronic marketing (e-marketing) as a tool for exporters. In this newsletter, I begin our exploration by examining the role of websites as a marketing tool. Click here to read about the power of websites.


Neels Bothma


Introducing Jamaica

Jamaica is not just a wonderful and exotic tourist destination. It is a serious consideration for South African exporters. Learn more about Jamaica.

World Business Directory - No, I'm NOT promoting them


This is an advisory.

I receive regular emails from this organisation. Their email serves to promote their "World Business Directory" and the email requests you to complete and return a PDF form to their 'London' address. Updating, they boast, is free of charge. What they don't tell you is that to register on their Directory costs GBP980 (or approximately R15 000) per year for a minimum of three years - that's R45 000! Maybe I'm wrong, but personally, I think this is a lot of money to pay for the little that they offer.

Once you are locked in, you can rest assured that they will do their best to squeeze their money out of you (even using lawyers to this end). This is not a scam as they do advertise their conditions and prices on the downloadable pamphlet and on their website and they do list you on their directory, but it is definitely not worth this sort of money in my mind. I see that they have some 87 'clients' in Cape Town, 93 in Johannesburg, 54 in Pretoria, and 26 in Durban That's a total of at least 260 firms in South Africa at R45 000 each, represents a potential income of almost R12 million!!

Of course, it's up to you, but I will definitely be steering clear of them. You may also want to visit this website StopECG!

The South African Print & Packaging Export Council

The South African Print and Packaging Export Council, or SAPPEC as it is known, represents the interests of the Printing Industries in South Africa, providing a sustained base for export of high quality print and related material to overseas clientele. SAPPEC is the only registered export forum to receive accreditation from the Department of Trade and Industry of South Africa, to represent this particular industry abroad. Click here to visit their website.

You may also want to try the following related websites for more information:

Click here for more related links.


Doing business in ... The Netherlands!

The Netherlands

The Netherlands has always been one of South Africa's leading trading partners and remains so today. In 2008, South Africa exported R28,3 billion to the Netherlands, while importing only R10,1 billion in the same year. This represented a trade surplus with the Netherlands of R18,2 billion, the highest of all of South Africa's trading partners.

The Netherlands in 2008 was South Africa's 6th most important export destination after Japan, the US, Germany, the UK and China. At the same time, the Netherlands is only South Africa's 16th most important supplier after Germany, China, the US, Saudi Arabia, Japan, the UK, Iran, France, Italy, Thailand, Brazil, Sweden, Australia, South Korea and Yemen.

Our main exports to the Netherlands in 2008 were mineral products (R10.1 billion), base metals and articles of base metals (R5,4 billion), vegetable products (R4,7 billion), chemicals and allied products (R3,7 billion), and machinery and mechanical appliances (R1,4 billion). Our imports from the Netherlands in the same year included machinery and mechanical appliances (R2,4 billion), chemical and allied products (R2,1 billion), mineral products (R1,8 billion), prepared foodstuffs, beverages and spirits (R1,0 billion), and plastic articles (R0,6 billion).

With statistics such as these, the Netherlands represents a serious target market that no exporter should discard lightly. In order to assist you in evaluating the Netherlands as a target market, we have identified the following links on doing business in the Netherlands. Don't forget to visit our sister site at www.countryhelp.co.za

The South African - Netherlands Chamber of Commerce

The South African - Netherlands Chamber of Commerce (SANEC) aims to stimulate business links between South Africa and the Netherlands. SANEC provides information on the economic situation in both countries, brings together potential trading partners, and offers a wide range of services at competitive prices, thereby facilitating closer economic ties and mutual understanding between the two countries. With a considerable presence in Johannesburg, Cape Town and The Hague, SANEC is ideally positioned to offer an extensive business network. This network and local knowledge is an invaluable resource to South African and Dutch members alike. Click here to visit their website and learn more.

E-marketplaces - for the chemical industry

In our previous newsletter we looked at e-marketplaces for the wine industry. In this issue we focus on the chemical industry. The chemical industry is a highly specialised sector and the number of e-marketplaces is still somewhat limited. We have taken the effort of visiting as many of the emarketplaces that we could find. Those not worth pursuing we ignored (you can view a list of those that we have discarded, by clicking here). The remainder are listed below with our comments.

  • ChemIndustry.com – this is not a true buy/sell emarketplace, but it is quite extensive and it is possible to list your company on this site. It is more of a directory-type portal.
  • Chembargains.com – this is a typical emarketplace, but with a strong Indian focus. The basic service is free, but more extensive feature require are pay-for.
  • Abcam (Specialising in antibodies)
  • ReportLinker – again, this is not an emarketplace, but you can access over 7000 reports on the chemical industry from this site (you might also want to try www.marketresearch.com).
  • ChemIndex.com – this is more of a chemical directory (as with ChemIndustry above), but you can submit your site for registration. The site has a strong Asian influence.

Click here for many more chemical-related links
Also worthy of a visit: International Council of Chemical Associations

TUSKON 2009 – Go do business in Turkey

Trade Bridge logo
The South African Turkish Business Association is inviting exporters (and importers) interested in doing business with Turkey to participate in the "Turkiye-World Trade Bridge 2009 (TUSKON)" programme that will be held in Istanbul on June 1-7, 2009. TUSKON is expected to host more than 2000 businessmen from 150 countries. This represents an excellent forum to meet with potential Turkish business partners. Click here to learn more.

World Expo 2010 Shanghai, China

While South Africa will be proudly hosting the Soccer World Cup in 2010, China will also be busy hosting the World Expo (from May to October, 2010). World Expos have been held regularly since 1851 when the first expo was organised in London under the title "The Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations". "The Great Exhibition", as it is often called, was the first international exhibition of manufactured products. As such, it influenced the development of several aspects of society including art and design education, international trade and relations, and even tourism. Also, it was the precedent for the many international exhibitions, later called 'World's Fairs' or 'World Expos', which were subsequently held up to the present day. The most recent World Expo was held in Zaragoza, Spain. The main attractions at World's Fairs are the national pavilions of participating countries. World Expos usually last between three and six months. (Source: Wikipedia)

Expo 2010

Export Quality Management

The International Trade Centre offers a range of Export Quality Management services aimed at helping exporters address quality issues throughout their organisation in order for them to become better exporters. Click here to learn more about this programme.

Something to read ... about exports and exporting

Don’t forget to read Credit Guarantee’s latest magazine – Credit Notes. Their latest edition covers the following topics:

  • Identify theft on the increase
  • Building and construction report – January 2009
  • Country report – Japan
  • Regional analysis – KZN
  • Credit Guarantee’s guide to Latin America
  • World market updates
  • RSA economic and business snapshot – January 2009
Click here to download their latest magazine

Please note that ExportHelp cannot be held responsible for any action taken on your part based on the information we provide. Always seek legal advice before becoming contractually involved in any international trade dealings.

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