Two Cape Town winemaking companies are optimistic that the Investment and Trade Initiative (ITI) to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) will give them an opportunity to expand their footprint to the DRC and neighbouring countries. Aslina and Robinson & Sinclair are part of the twenty-nine business delegation to the DRC for the 8th ITI scheduled to take place in Kinshasa and Lubumbashi from 6-11 November 2017.
The objective of the ITI is to create market penetration for South African value-added products and services in DRC and to promote South Africa as a trade and investment destination.
The owner and Director of Aslina Wines, Ms Ntsiki Biyela says her target in terms of expanding her brand and wines has always been Africa. Biyela, who is already exporting to Ghana says the continent is an ideal market for up-and-coming exporters.
“My aim is to meet with importers, distributors, restaurateurs as well as hotel and beverage managers who will assist in introducing my wines into the DRC market. International markets are more receptive to unknown brands, hence we have grown more overseas,” says Biyela.
Biyela spent a year as a domestic worker before she was awarded a scholarship to study Bachelor of Science in Agriculture at Stellenbosch University in 1999. She was crowned Woman Winemaker of the Year in 2009 and has been the finalist for two consecutive years for the Most Influential Women in Business and Government.
Biyela also sits on the board of directors for the Pinotage Youth Development Academy, which provides technical training and personal development for young South Africans in the Cape Winelands, preparing them for work in the wine industry.
The Sales Manager of North American and African at Robinson & Sinclair Wines, Mr Cyril Meidinger says as a company they would love to expand their footprint to the rest of Africa as it is a market that they have not managed to properly get into so far.
“We would like to meet with importers, distributors and retailers in the DRC in order to expose them to the quality of our beautiful South African wines and aim to develop our inter-continental relationships. Previous participation has exposed us to meet new importers and distributors globally,” he says.
The business delegation will participate in the exhibition, business seminars and a series of business-to-business meetings.