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TAITRA builds a link between the booming African market and Taiwanese SMEs

Source: Taiwantrade | Updated: 10 March 2015

With its rich natural resources, growing population and recent development in social and political scenes, Africa has become an increasingly important continent.


But due to the historical background and prejudices in the media, most Taiwanese SMEs are still not familiar with the local market situation and don’t realize the market potential of Africa.


This year, TAITRA has selected a number of target markets to help the Taiwanese SMEs expand their markets abroad.


Between May 9-24 TAITRA will send Taiwan trade missions to visit Kenya, Egypt, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. These countries are members of COMESA, or the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa. COMESA is the 4th biggest regional free trade zone in the world behind the EU, NAFTA and ASEAN. It represents the market with a population of 400 million and 20.9 billion in trade between member states.


From June 21-23 TAITRA will recruit Taiwanese SMEs to attend the Southern African International Exhibition (SAITEX) in southern African region. This exhibition attracted some 14,657 buyers from 44 different countries in 2014. It is considered the biggest trading platform in the region.


There are strategic reasons to select the above mentioned countries to help Taiwanese SMEs to get a foothold and build a strong presence on the continent.


First, South Africa is the 2nd biggest economy in Africa. South African consumers have strong purchasing power. Its highly developed financial sector and consumer market provide a good environment for doing business.


South Africa is also a regional hub for automobile production with huge demand for relevant auto components and machines tools.

As for the COMESA member states, Egypt is the biggest export destination for Taiwanese SMEs. Following a stabilization of the political situation there, there’s a sustainable demand for rebuilding, and its role as the biggest Arabic speaking market will continue to create more business opportunities.


Kenya, on the other hand, plays a similar role in East Africa. It’s the biggest economy in the region and has very mature financial sector. Kenya is also famous for its development of the mobile payment and telecommunications sector.


The Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda possess rich resources. Both countries have a lot of room to improve in terms of infrastructure. With a huge population, each can create a huge demand for food, machinery and transportation products.

With the increasing purchasing power and numerous infrastructure development projects in the African region, the huge gap between supply and demand in the market for consumer goods, energy efficient products, auto components and machine tools will continue to widen.


Taiwanese SMEs are able to provide high quality products with reasonable prices in the above mentioned fields. And TAITRA will provide its professional services and know-how to help Taiwanese SME to enter the relatively unfamiliar markets in the region.


Jesse Tai (jessetai@taitra.org.tw)


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