Growing trade opportunities into and out of Africa will come under the spotlight at this year’s Auto Africa Expo 2002, the biennial international trade exhibition and conference, to be hosted in Johannesburg, South Africa in October 2002.

Auto Africa Expo 2002 manager Pula Dippenaar said: “South Africa has become the recognised gateway for automotive trade throughout Africa, attracting an increasing number of foreign trade visitors to Auto Africa, which is the largest gathering of automotive manufacturers and suppliers on the continent.”

The introduction of an International Business Lounge means industry experts will facilitate business appointments between relevant people in the automotive industry and foreign visitors who state their needs prior to arrival in SA.

“The South African industry’s reputation for its high-quality-low-cost production capabilities has resulted in enormous growth in exports to countries such as the USA, Japan, and Europe. Passenger car exports are on the rise, with an average annual increase of 37% in CBU exports, as a result of recent export contracts secured by DaimlerChrysler, BMW and Volkswagen. This figure is expected to increase substantially with the recent announcement that Toyota will begin exporting vehicles to Australia in 2002,” Dippenaar said.

South Africa has also steadily gained recognition as a competent manufacturer of high quality export components including catalytic converters, engines, windscreens, leather trim and seats, and achieved a 47% increase in component exports from 2000 to 2001.

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The exhibition and related conferences will take place at the Expo Centre, Nasrec, from 22-27 October 2002 and spreads across 55,000m2 of space, comprising components and manufacturing; passenger and leisure vehicles; the garage equipment industry; the collision repair industry; and trucking and transport.