Small Business Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu is using her time in China to help unlock the Chinese market for South Africa’s small businesses and cooperatives.
“The over 30 businesses that we have brought here and many others back home are looking for an opportunity to grow their businesses. Our participation at this year’s China International Small and Medium Enterprises Fair (CISMEF) is our practical effort to promote market access,” Minister Zulu said.
She is leading a South African small business delegation at this year’s CISMEF, which takes place in Guanzhou from 10 – 13 October.
The Department of Small Business Development has made a commitment to facilitate market access for small businesses.
Minister Zulu said her department is using CISMEF as a catalyst to unlock markets for small businesses and cooperatives.
The Minister challenged her Chinese counterparts and Chinese businesses to help open their markets to South Africa’s small and medium businesses.
“Many small, medium and micro-sized enterprises (SMMEs) and cooperatives have pointed out to us that their growth and sustainability is hampered by lack of access to markets. CISMEF must be a platform that opens the doors for many SMMEs to enter global markets,” said Minister Zulu.
She urged small businesses to seek markets beyond the borders of South Africa.
“The truth is that the walls separating nations are falling and the globe is getting smaller. However, the queues of the unemployed remain unacceptably long, especially in the developing world. CISMEF highlights the importance of global entrepreneurship that cuts across borders.”
Minister Zulu said her department decided to be the co-hosts with China for this year’s CISMEF because government is committed to the goal of promoting and sustaining entrepreneurship.
“We believe that investing in small business will help us respond to the many socio-economic challenges that still stubbornly stare us in the face. Small businesses are the heartbeat of our economy and engine for economic growth and job creation.”
The Minister is accompanied by Wendy Nelson, the MEC for Finance, Economic and Enterprise Development in the North West province and Dr Ben Malakoane, the MEC for Economic, Small Business Development, Tourism and Economic Affairs in the Free State.