City-based business secures R100m in UK export deals

Software ace Justin Coetzee shows how accurate and user-friendly the train commuter information application is that he developed for cellphones. Picture Ian Landsberg

A city-based business has secured export deals worth more than R100million, following a Western Cape Government trade mission earlier this year.

Alan Winde, Minister of Economic Opportunities, on 27 September 2017 announced that GoMetro, which focuses on technology solutions to the public transport sector, had secured R100million in export deals with a range of firms in the United Kingdom.

In May, Minister Winde led a trade mission to the United Kingdom, one of the Western Cape’s biggest trading partners, to further boost tourism, trade and investment between the two regions. Ten companies joined the mission. Wesgro set up more than 100 meetings during the visit.

Baptiste Boittiaux, Head of Marketing at GoMetro, said: “We are expected to create R100million in business in the UK over the next 5 years. Our goal is to implement flexible mobility in the region through our Platform. We’ll be working closely with private organizations as well as the public sector, including municipalities and universities, in order to craft mobility solutions according to their needs and requirements. We are building a strong presence in the region to position GoMetro as the mobility expert to go to.”

Minister Winde said the agreements further strengthened the Western Cape’s trade relationship with the UK.

Earlier this month UK International Trade Secretary, Dr Liam Fox travelled to South Africa to boost bilateral trade. He announced an additional £1.75 billion in funding for UK companies exporting to South Africa, as well as South African buyers of UK goods and services. Dr Fox met with National Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies during his visit. As a result of Minister Winde’s trade mission to the UK, Dr Fox also met with Minister Winde to further discuss increasing trade, investment and tourism between the Western Cape and the UK.

Minister Winde said: “In 2016, the Western Cape exported goods to the United Kingdom worth $628 million and the United Kingdom is the Western Cape’s second largest export destination.

“During our trade mission, we had several discussions with key organisations on boosting trade, investment and tourism between our regions. It was clear there are mutually beneficial opportunities for South African and UK businesses, and we committed to working together to further grow bilateral trade. GoMetro is one of the first successes we’ve seen following the trade mission, and I wish them well in their future endeavours. I am aware that other companies on the mission are also in talks with UK businesses, and I am looking forward to sharing more success stories for our economy.”

Wesgro CEO Tim Harris, said: “As Cape Town and the Western Cape’s official tourism, trade and investment promotion agency, Wesgro has been on a mission to remind British businesses that the Cape is a safe, secure trade and investment destination that can provide a stable base for them to grow new markets in South Africa and the rest of Africa. Our research ahead of this trip identified the UK as a market with strong demand for products and services that improve productivity, including ICT software and services that lower costs and improve business efficiencies, and GoMetro’s tremendous success during this trade mission confirmed its accuracy. We have even more missions planned over the next year and encourage Cape companies in need of export insights and support to contact us.”

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