KZN Exporter of the Year honour record number of deserving winners

KZN Exporter of the Year honour record number of deserving winners

Wednesday 02 November 2016

This year’s prestigious KZN Exporter of the Year Awards included more winners than in previous ceremonies as the 2016 gala banquet boasted four new categories. The names of the winners as well as those of the finalists of the Awards-now celebrating its 16th year – were unveiled at a glitzy gala banquet at the iNkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre in Durban on October 20.

The annual event is a partnership between Transnet Port Terminals (TPT) and the Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI), and as usual, anticipation and excitement were in the air as the countdown to the announcements drew nearer. Three of the four new categories were awarded for exporting “soft skills” rather than the usual exports of tangible products. As driving exports and promoting economic growth in Durban and KwaZulu-Natal are the spark that ignites a growing export industry – and ultimately a stronger economy – the awards evening provided a platform and ideal showcase for emerging and established businesses which export a wide range of products and services.

Transnet Port Terminals’ chief executive, Karl Socikwa, told the packed venue that TPT’s involvement in the KZN awards was vital, considering the role that the terminal operator plays in the province. “The port of Durban handles about 60 percent of the country’s imports and exports and is regarded as the busiest port in Sub-Saharan Africa,” he noted. “As the cog that ensure the wheels of this country’s economy are continuously turning, it stands to reasons that we continue to be involved with an event of this magnitude.” Operation Phakisa, the government-led initiative which aims to unlock the economic potential of South Africa’s maritime sector, “also relies on the success of the country’s exports to see the full benefits of the Blue Ocean
Economy,” he added.

The Durban Chamber’s chief executive, Dumile Cele, also recognised the vital role that exports play in the growth and development of the economy. “I am delighted that the awards have grown over the past 16 years, so much so that we were able to introduce four new categories this year,” she said. She pledged that the Durban Chamber would continue supporting and helping exporters to grow through the organisation’s Policy and Advocacy function, particularly the Durban Port, Trade and Investment and Manufacturing Forums.

As the recognition awards continue to grow from strength to strength, exporting KZN companies are being urged to apply for next year’s awards. As well as receiving the backing of TPT, the awards are also supported by a range of partners keen to highlight
successful exporters in the province. The support for the 2016 honours came from such partners as the Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Economic Affairs (EDTEA); Trade & Investment KwaZuluNatal (TIKZN); the Ethekwini Maritime Cluster (EMC); the Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA), and the Export Credit Insurance Corporation (ECIC).

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