16 January 2014
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has launched a permanent showroom for South African lifestyle products, crafts, clothing and textiles in Atlanta in the United States.
The showroom, a joint initiative of the DTI and the Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda), was opened by Deputy Trade and Industry Minister Elizabeth Thabethe last week.
Located in one of the largest permanent wholesale trade centres in Atlanta, the showroom will serve as a platform for marketing South African products, while addressing the significant market entry costs faced by smaller exporters.
Thabethe said she was greatly impressed by the talent and skills that South African women displayed in designing and crafting products that would both promote South Africa’s culture and heritage and appeal to international markets.
“We are inspired by the cultural diversity of these products as well as the high quality that we believe will resonate well with American and other international consumers,” she said.
“Our focus is now on creation of more value-added products and to improve competitiveness in the industry.”
South Africa’s ambassador to the US, Ebrahim Rasool, said the initiative gave small to medium South African producers the opportunity to showcase their products to “an incredibly great market, and this can only help create jobs back home”.