“When you enter a border you become ambassadors flying the South African flag,” Trade Councillor Mazibuko started the conversation, “and that’s what you need to remember when trying to engage in business, you need to be sure that you are either export or import ready, and that you can deliver.” She then furthered that the most important aspect of any kind of business is to deliver quality service, on time and thus build up a lasting reputation. “And those of you that aren’t returning to South Africa with deals, take it to heart. Learn about you experience, things don’t happen immediately. See how other people do their business, and see how you can implement that in you business. That’s the basics of development.” After a couple of entrepreneur questions regarding how the department can support them in trying to branch out to the UK, Ms Mazibuko answered, “Our goal is to create jobs. If your business will create jobs whilst promoting South Africa, we want to hear from you about what we can do for you. We will support anything as long as it is beneficial to the South African people.” All the entrepreneurs then introduced themselves as well as their businesses while Ms Mazibuko listened with interest. “I am passionate about development, and from what I can see this is development at its best,” she furthered. After a range of questions and discussions the Trade Councillor urged the entrepreneurs to come into contact with her as soon as possible to engage in further support, “Remember, I’m here to serve you,” she passionately ended the visit.
On a recent International Trade Programme (ITP) to the United Kingdom in September 2014, we gave a handful of budding entrepreneurs the opportunity to network and arrange meetings with potential clients and investors. Stopping off in London, we headed to the historical Trafalgar Square where Trade Councillor Thobile Mazibuko hosted us at the stately South Africa House, where she sat around the table with us to discuss issues of trade, export and development.
Trade Councillor Thobile Mazibuko: The youth is our future!
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