Press release 253/2012
31 October 2012
Minister for European Affairs and Foreign Trade Alexander Stubb will take a Team Finland export promotion trip to South Africa and Namibia on 5-9 November. The destinations in South Africa include the country's financial centre Johannesburg, the capital Pretoria and Cape Town, and in Namibia the capital Windhoek. Minister Stubb travels with a delegation of 23 business representatives, brought together by Finpro.
The trip aims at promoting business opportunities of Finnish businesses in South Africa and Namibia by strengthening the position of the enterprises already operating in the area and by paving the way for new cooperation relationships. The businesses in the delegation represent a wide range of branches, including information technology, education, energy, environment, logistics and mining and defence industries.
Minister Stubb will have high-level meetings in both countries. In Johannesburg Stubb will participate the Finnish-South African economic forum and get introduced to operation of the Nelson Mandela Foundation. Cape Town will host a World Design Capital event, in which the Minister and the delegation will be joined by Lord Mayor of Helsinki Jussi Pajunen. In addition, Minister Stubb will give a speech on the topic ”Will Europe survive the current crisis?” at the University of Cape Town. In Windhoek, Stubb will take part in the Finnish-Namibian economic seminar.
South Africa is one of Finland's top trading partners outside the OECD countries and the biggest trade partner in Africa both in terms of exports and imports. In 2011, the value of Finnish exports to South Africa was about EUR 342 million and the value of imports over EUR 301 million. The recession in the world economy has taken its toll on the trade with South Africa too; as recently as in 2007 Finnish exports to the country totalled EUR 546 million. South Africa has plans for extensive energy, transport and logistics projects over the next few years. The country's economic growth in 2012 is expected to be approximately 2.5 percent.
Trade between Finland and Namibia is relatively small-scale as yet, but the growth has been fast. The value of Finnish annual exports to Namibia has been about EUR 2.5 million in the past few years and the value of imports in 2011 was about 974,000 euros. The Namibian GDP has grown 4-5 percent annually in the recent years. Mining industry is the key branch in Namibia, and the country will be investing in manufacturing industry and logistics in the forthcoming years. The education and health sector and innovative products and services also have business opportunities.
Further information: Advisor to Minister Stubb Timo Ranta, tel. +358 40 352 0463, and Administrator Petri Wanner, Unit for Southern Africa, tel. 040 731 4509
The delegation includes representatives from:
Analyse2, Eltel Networks, Enersense International Oy, Finnfund, Finnvera, Flowrox Oy, Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences, HAMK University of Applied Sciences, Konecranes Plc, Metso Corporation, Mirasys Oy, Nokia Siemens Networks, Normet Africa (PTY) Ltd, Outotec Oyj, Patria Land Systems Oy, Planmeca Group, QPR Software Plc, Sanoma Learning Ltd, STX Finland Oy, Suomen Ekolannoite Oy, Tampere University of Applied Sciences, Uniqoteq Ltd, Wärtsilä.