South Africa: New material for a national export-readiness training programme

Open Trade Gate Sweden has been mandated by the South African Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC) to assist them in reviewing their Global Exporters Passport Programme (GEPP), develop new training material where needed and train trainers at the national and provincial level on the revised training programme.

The GEPP is a training programme directed at small, medium and large enterprises that wish to expand their export opportunities. The goal of the programme is to capacitate companies to develop their own export marketing plan and better understand targeted markets in relation to their products and services. The programme supports them in developing the capacity to position themselves on these markets, understand compliance issues, including rules and product requirements, distribution channels and marketing. The GEPP was first introduced in 2013 as part of the National Exporter Development Programme (NEDP).

The training involves frequent export-readiness assessments of participants to ensure the provision of appropriate interventions. The actual training is provided in four different phases, which include both formal and informal workshops.

The GEPP is an integral part of the National Exporter Development Programme (NEDP), designed to prepare companies to be export ready before they can participate on export promotion activities, which comprise of international pavilions and organised trade missions.

The training has been carried out so far by service providers mandated by the DTIC and in collaboration with provincial agencies. The DTIC would like to change the training model to build internal capacity (train their trainers).

Assessment of existing exporters´ programme and new training material

The project started with a review the existing training materials and the organisation of a stakeholder consultation (different regions in South Africa involved in the training). Based on the comments and suggestions from stakeholders, OTGS designed a revised training programme (during 2020) which focuses on the following phases:

  • Pre Training Assignment (export-readiness evaluation)
  • Step 1 – Export Audit
  • Step 2 – Target Market selection and analysis
  • Step 3 – Market entry strategy
  • Step 4 – Sales and Marketing plan

The idea is that participants will progressively build an export strategy plan over a period of 8 to 12 months.

The project is carried out in close collaboration with the Swiss Import Promotion Programme (SIPPO) which is currently supporting business support organisations in South Africa in order to increase their export promotion capacity and service provision to export-ready companies.