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You are here:Export Marketing > Trade Missions


 

 

Trade Missions

 

What is a trade mission?

A trade mission is a visit organised by an individual or organisation of a group of business people (usually exporters or importers, but which may include investors and business persons with other intentions) to another country with the purpose of encourage trade to take place between the visitors and the business community in the target country. Trade missions are a popular way of facilitating international trade.

Trade missions are commonly organised by governments, chambers of commerce, industry associations, development organisations or any similar organisation. It is also quite common for a trade mission to accompany senior government officials such as Ministers (and even the President) who are visiting a particular country to foster better relations with that country. Trade missions are generally divided into two types, namely inward trade missions and outward trade missions. Trade missions may also be general in nature (in the sense that they cover several industries, as well as consumer and industrial goods), or industry-specific.

Participating in a trade mission is a good idea as these missions can be quite an effective marketing tool if you manage them properly. Although trade missions normally are organised by a third-party – a government department, chamber of commerce or industry association – it is crucial that you also manage your own participation time and activities within the confines of the visit as a whole, if you wish to maximise the value of the visit

Inward trade missions

An inward trade mission involves a group of foreign business persons that travel to South Africa to discuss business. Depending on the nature and purpose of the trade mission, the participants may be exporters or importers (or investors). If they are exporters, then it is unlikely that the mission will be of interest to local South African exporters. Local exporters are really only likely to be interested in missions comprising importers (also sometimes referred to as ‘import missions’). The visit may be arranged from either the foreign side or the South Africa side, but either way, there will be organisers on both sides ensuring that the visit is successful (import missions are usually arranged on the invitation of the local export community who will play a key role in facilitating the visit).

Please also visit this page for more detailed information about the dti's EMIA scheme and inward trade missions.

Outward trade missions

An outward trade mission involves a group of local business persons (usually exporters, but it could comprise importers or investors), that travel abroad to meet with the business community in a particular foreign country. As with inward trade missions, they can be arranged on the initiative of either side, but export missions are usually initiated from the exporting country.

While trade missions are common and take place fairly regularly, they do not take place every week or even every month. You may find that there are only four or five trade missions (inward and outward) per year. You need to be alert to these missions, scanning the business sections or newspapers, reading the newsletters of chambers and trade associations, and keeping an eye on the DTI’s home page.

Please also visit this page for more detailed information about the dti's EMIA scheme and outward-bound trade missions.

 
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© Cornelius Bothma

Learning to export...
The export process in 21 easy steps
Step 1: Considering exporting
Step 2:Current business viability
Step 3:Export readiness
Step 4:Broad mission statement and initial budget
Step 5:Confirming management's commitment to exports
Step 6: Undertaking an initial SWOT analysis of the firm
Step 7:Selecting and researching potential countries abroad
Step 8: Preparing and implementing your export plan
Step 9: Obtaining financing for your exports
Step 10: Managing your export risk
Step 11: Promoting the firm and its products abroad
Step 12: Negotiating and quoting in exports
Step 13: Revising your export costings and price
Step 14: Obtaining the export order
Step 15: Producing the goods
Step 16: Handling the export logistics
Step 17: Export documentation
Step 18: Providing follow-up support
Step 19: Getting paid
Step 20: Reviewing and improving the export process
Step 21: Export Management
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