While we strongly recommend that you make use of our country’s trade representatives, you should not ignore the trade representatives of other countries located in South Africa. These individuals know their respective countries intimately and now that they are living in South Africa, they also understand the South Africa way of life and way of doing business. They are in an excellent position to help you do business in their country – the only problem is that they are in South Africa to promote exports from their country to here and not from here to there. This makes them generally unwilling to assist South African exporters!
So what should you do? Well, we suggest that you approach them and explain to them that you want to explore the possibility of doing business with their country (yes, exports, but also possibly imports). Ask them if you can have access to their trade information, newsletter and trade library. The best is to ask for specific information such as the address of the trade association in their country for the industry you are active in. As always be polite and friendly. Some foreign trade offices may be willing to help you. Be careful about misleading the trade representative, however. If they believe that you are lying, they may quickly become unhelpful and even hostile. Lying may even result in a visa being denied to you for travel! At the very least, you should begin by seeing whether they a website to learn more about what services they offer (or even if they have a trade representative at all).
Click here to access the list of foreign missions in South Africa