North East's trade links with South Africa are strengthened

Valuable trade links between the North East and South Africa have been strengthened after a delegation from the Rainbow Nation visited the region

Julie Underwood and Philinde Xaba
Julie Underwood and Philinde Xaba

Valuable trade links between the North East and South Africa have been strengthened after a delegation from the Rainbow Nation visited the region.

As well as a trade seminar and exhibition in Newcastle on Thursday, the delegation from the South African High Commission was also honoured at a dinner at Sunderland Football Club’s Stadium of Light.

The purpose of the visit was to bring together businesses to cement existing networks and create new ones to open up new business opportunities for investment and jobs

As well as trade links, cultural links will also be strengthened as the North East is twinned with the Eastern Cape. The event was hosted by South African-born Richard Swart, managing director of Peterlee-based Berger Group (Europe) who is also chairman of the International Committee for the North East Chamber of Commerce.

He said: “The visit was a huge success and was a tremendous way to strengthen existing bridges and build new ones in a range of sectors where there is so much in common, including business support and financial services, automotive, tourism, cultural, sports, oil and gas, renewables, chemicals, life services and education.”

Coun Paul Watson, chairman of ANEC, added: “ANEC welcomes positive steps in strengthening existing relations and creating new businesses and cultural links between the North East and South Africa. North East councils are committed to economic growth and welcome the opportunities that forging links can bring for future investment and jobs across a range of local industries.’’

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