‘Don’t overlook Africa export opportunities’, says expert

Lancashire manufacturing businesses should not overlook the growing trade opportunities on the African continent, according to one of the region’s leading lawyers.

John Chesworth, managing director at Preston-based commercial law firm Harrison Drury, was speaking after attending a global business conference in South Africa.

The firm attended the conference in Johannesburg as part of its membership of The Alliott Group, an international alliance of legal, accounting and professional firms.

During the conference members received an economic update on South Africa, and a guide on doing business in the country which provided an overview of its major business centres.

John said: “South Africa is a key trade partner with the UK, but it still has a lot of untapped potential for British firms due to new emerging markets, its stability as a developed country and cultural similarities with the UK.

“We advise a number of manufacturing and engineering businesses on the legal aspects of exporting and this was a great opportunity for us to further widen our international knowledge and hear first-hand about some of the opportunities in South Africa and neighbouring countries.”

Following the Worldwide Conference in November, Harrison Drury also attended another Alliott Group event in London organised by the network’s Spanish members which explored trade and investment opportunities in Spain.

John added: “Our membership of the Alliott Group allows our clients to access the specialist advice they need in almost any territory in the world. We will continue building up our knowledge as we aim to become the number one law firm in the region for international legal expertise.”

According to UKTI, the UK is in South Africa’s ‘Premier League’ of trading partners, with an annual bilateral relationship over £9.6bn. This is set to double following challenging targets set by ministers. UKTI is focusing on high value and infrastructure opportunities which form part of the South African Government’s agenda. These are worth about £290 billion over the next 15 years. The plan includes involvement in large high-end projects, such as major construction and infrastructure, through to collaboration in the technology and service industries.